October 12, 2006
Green Talks about Immigration
Rep. Mark Green is the son of immigrants. He understands them and appreciates the important role they play and have played in America's history. Green also appreciates the rule of law so one way to honor legal immigrants is to be tough on those who flout our laws. He recently talked to a group of supporters about immigration.
Green is mild-mannered in temperment and full of conviction. It's quite different from the "extreme" label Gov. Doyle is trying to put on him.
October 11, 2006
More Fun at Drinking Right
Last night's Drinking Right was another good time at Papa's Social Club. I posted pics at Flickr. Enjoy.
October 06, 2006
New Jersey will become the next state to tax its citizen's downloads. Gov. Jim Doyle, who says he's never raised Wisconsin taxes, toyed with the idea last year. The Republican-controlled legislature stopped him. If he's re-elected expect him to try again to fund future big spending with an "iTunes tax."
"New Jersey's iTunes Tax"
October 04, 2006
Foley Money to Green Will Go to Charity
Mark Foley's sex scandal reaches Wisconsin. Foley's 1998 donation of $1000 to Mark Green will go to charity a Green spokesman said.
"Green to Donate $1,000 He Received from Embattled Congressman"
October 03, 2006
Say a Little Prayer
Tee Bee had to fly to California because her mother became ill. We're thinking about you here at TAM HQ.
Green Attacks Doyle on Illegal Immigrants
The ads are starting to roll out of the Mark Green campaign. His latest one hits Gov. Doyle hard on his special treatment for illegal immigrants.
He also harps on state taxes being too high. That's the big theme of his campaign, and he's staying on message.
September 29, 2006
WSJ Poll: Doyle's Lead Slims Tremendously
Zogby's poll for the Wall Street Journal, a combined online and phone poll, finds Gov. Jim Doyle with only a 1.3% lead over Rep. Mark Green.
And to really make the Wisconsin GOP ask themselves, "What if we actually found someone to challenge Sen. Herb Kohl?" the poll finds Kohl with only a 13.3% lead over Robert Gerald Lorge.
UPDATE: Even with this poll the overall average has Doyle with a 5% lead over Green. Doyle's numbers have started taking a nosedive.
Odd Poll in Governor's Race
Until I see corroborating numbers I'm discounting the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute's poll that has Gov. Doyle with a 5% lead over Rep. Mark Green. The overall spread seems right, but the poll says Green is leading in Democratic stronghold Milwaukee, and Doyle leads Green by 11% in Green Bay Green's backyard. If the numbers are accurate this will be one wild race with more unpredictabilities.
"Governor's Race Poll Contains Surprises"
September 28, 2006
More Mark Green Ads on YouTube
If you watch plenty of Wisconsin television you have probably already seen these two Mark Green ads. My tv watching amounts to sports and neither Green nor Doyle are buying ad time during Brewers games. So for those with similar viewing habits here's two good Green ads now on YouTube:
Mark Green really needs your help to make sure these ads get as much play as possible. Please donate to his campaign.
September 27, 2006
Joseph Sobran to Speak in Milwaukee Thursday
Last Saturday, James Widgerson posted on an up-coming speech by Joesph Sobran to the Wisconsin Forum. His speech will be about the "hijacking of conservatism." Sobran, once a paleo-conservative or paleo-libertarian now an anarchist, was forced to resign from National Review because of his unhealthy obsession with Israel and the role of Jews in American politics. In 1991, William F. Buckley wrote about how he attempted to keep Sobran from letting his obession harm his career and reputation.
From Sobran's own words about "Jewish power," the "wrath of Jewish advertisers," the "Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States," and his many uses of the pejorative "Zionist" (sounding like Palastinian propaganda) it's clear to me he has a dislike of Jews as a group. Ergo it's not a stretch to call Sobran an anti-Semite even though he was in awe of particular Jews like Murray Rothbard. What's also disturbing is his paranoia. Richard John Neuhaus quotes Sobran:
The older I get, the more I am impressed by this pervasive fear of the Jews-or rather, pervasive in some critical power centers, unfelt in other places. It is a huge factor, invisible and incalculable, in American culture and politics.
Sobran's obsession (one he denies) with Jews has no place in a conservatism where people are treated as individuals and not abstracted into ethnic groups with certain exceptions.
What should be done? What I can do is simply not attend the speech, and I encourage no one else to attend. Also, airing my opinion via this weblog is a constructive action. While the Wisconsin Forum has been around for decades and has an admirable committment "to speaking on behalf of the principles of liberty" I am very disappointed in their selection of Sobran. The organization's reputation has suffered in my eyes. Much work will be needed to be done to improve it.
September 25, 2006
Vice President Raises Big Bucks for Green and GOP
Vice President Dick Cheney came to Milwaukee to raise $150,000 for Mark Green and Wisconsin Republicans. That should help make up for losing in court to a Jim Doyle-appointed judge.
"Cheney Visits Milwaukee"
Mark Green Hits Back at Doyle
Many of us Mark Green supporters have been waiting for him to strike back at Jim Doyle's constant barrage of attack ads. With today's ruling against him in liberal Dane County by a Doyle-appointed judge he has to know the rules of the game are being rigged by his opponents. Now, Green has struck back. I hope this is just the beginning. The next ad should feature one Georgia Thompson who's going to federal prison for rigging a state travel contract toward a big Doyle contributor.
The Green campaign will move the questioned $467,844 into a separate account leaving Jim Doyle with that much more of a financial advantage. Please donate to Mark Green. Wisconsin doesn't deserve four more years of Doyle's ethical treachery.
September 21, 2006
More on Doyle's Rigging of the State Elections Board
There has been plenty of electrons spilled on the news that a Gov. Jim Doyle lawyer conspired with members of the State Elections Board to stick it to Rep. Mark Green. Patrick at Badger Blogger has an extensive round-up. So check him out for breadth. I'll highlight some thoughts I found interesting:
Bad Timing of Doyle's "Ethics" Ad
Ask Me Later's Cantankerous noticed Gov. Doyle's great timing. Yesterday, his campaign released a new ad [PDF] bashing Rep. Mark Green for keeping $468,000 in PAC donations that were legal until Doyle got his cronies on the State Elections Board to retroactively declare them illegal.
In the ad Doyle says he won't stop cleaning up corruption. Will he be asking for Carl Holborn and Kerry Dwyer to step down from the board? Will Doyle campaign attorney Michael S. Maistelman be fired? Will Doyle's campaign pay for the Election Board's court costs since it's a being used as a political weapon against Green?
Doyle's Words vs. Facts
Badger Blogger's video sums up nicely the first Doyle-Green debate:
Doyle's Lawyer Had Board Stick It to Green
We might as well toss aside the latest poll numbers. A new piece of data has entered the governor's race, and it's a doozy. Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign lawyer told Democratic members of the State Elections Board to retroactively declare some of Rep. Mark Green's PAC contribution illegal to stymie the Republican's campaign.
Attorney Michael S. Maistelman bluntly told Democratic Party members of the board he contacted why they should publicly sanction or punish the Green campaign, according to documents obtained by the Journal Sentinel under the state's open records law.
Now, those of us political junkies figured Doyle was behind the board's unfair ruling, but now the public knows how brazen Team Doyle was.
Wisconsinites strongly feel people should play fair. We've learned again that Gov. Doyle doesn't care about fairness. He simply cares about winning re-election and advancing his liberal agenda. He trades state contracts for campaign contributions, lies about the state government's finances, labels his opponents as "extreme," over does it when talking about embryonic stem cells' medical potential, and now turns a bipartisan election board into a political weapon.
Wisconsin is at a point where serious people need to work together to solve the assortment of problems facing the state. With Rep. Mark Green we have a man who's laying out plans on education, taxes, and health care. With Gov. Doyle it's smear commercials and stacking the deck through cronies. Wisconsin deserves better than that.
UPDATE: To read Michael Maistelman e-mails you can download them here [PDF]
September 20, 2006
Mark Green on Merit Pay for Teachers
Many teachers work very, very hard. They deserve their salaries and more. Rep. Mark Green agrees and wants merit pay for teachers.
Giving good teachers a pay raise makes sense to me. That's what happens in the private sector. WEAC will gripe because their mission isn't to promote teacher excellence; it's to protect union members no matter how poorly their doing their jobs.
Please make a donation to help Rep. Mark Green "make Wisconsin great again."
September 18, 2006
Ad War Intensifies
It's commercial time.
Mark Green on Health Savings Accounts
There are some (there always are) who will say, "There's no difference between the two candidates." Sometimes they're right, but on the issue of health savings accounts there is a big difference. Rep. Mark Green wants to make them deductible on Wisconsin taxes while Gov. Doyle has vetoed the legislation.
Green-Doyle Debate I
Friday night is the worst night to hold a political debate. It's the beginning of the weekend when people begin relaxing and doing things they want to do not the stuff they're told to do. People are going out, taking in one of Wisconsin's famous fish fries, or seeing a movie. News-wise it isn't good either. Saturday newspapers are the least read of the entire week. Why do you think Gov. Doyle vetoed so many bills on a Friday afternoon? A governor's debate on a Friday night makes little sense. So I saved my post-debate analysis until now when people are back into the swing of thinking about "serious" subjects like politics.
Rep. Mark Green understood the debate's timing and unleashed his assortment of sound bites as answers to questions from an audience put together by We the People/Wisconsin. (To spice it up they should have some webloggers take on the candidates.) Friday night's debate was on taxes and the economy. Green jumped on his anti-tax soapbox to tell the audience that "the problem in Wisconsin is we're over-taxed." When asked to rank his preference among various kinds of taxes he said, "I'm unable to say that any of them are too low. All of our taxes are too high." In every answer to a question Green mentioned taxes. He's banking on anti-tax sentiment and hoping enough people will vote on that issue.
For Gov. Doyle every other word out of his mouth was "education." He made the case that he worked very hard to write a budget that protected education and taxpayers. He attacked Green for Washington, D.C.'s fiscal irresponsibility saying, "They haven't made the hard choices in Washington. We have made the hard choices in Madison." He mentioned how previous governors led us to our current budget problems and how federal policies were harming Wisconsin job creation.
Green countered Doyle's budget acumen by pointing out how he borrowed from the transportation fund and other pools of state money to put the budget into balance. Yes, it's easy to claim you put together a balanced budget when: 1) it's required in the state constitution; and 2) you take money from other funds pushing spending cuts and/or tax increases into the future.
On the budget Doyle said that Green's plan to freeze taxes and spending would mean "deep cuts." But in politician-speak that means slowing the rate of growth, something Green stated he wanted to do.
One of Green's goals was to make himself the anti-tax candidate. He succeeded. Gov. Doyle was forced to talk about the taxes he did cut. Doyle's goal was to connect himself with education even if the second debate would focus on that topic. He talked about how we have "got to make sure we have decent schools." He said he has a "full commitment to education."
Throughout the debate Gov. Doyle appeared staid, fairly competent and, well, boring. But being boring doesn't necessarily hurt you when trying to get re-elected. However, near the end Gov. Doyle finally got irritated by Rep. Green constantly accusing him of not caring about high taxes. When talking about a tax freeze that he vetoed three times he said, "I've got to be the grown-up in this." Remember that. Gov. Doyle doesn't think you're serious and an adult if you think taxes should stop going up. Imagine what he thinks of people who want their taxes cut. We caught a glimpse of the real Jim Doyle.
Green hasn't gone after Gov. Doyle's ethical problems. That's the elephant in the room for the two debates. Because the debate organizers have the debates structured around topics--Friday's on taxes and the economy with the 10.22 debate on education and health care--it could be difficult for Green to ask Doyle tough questions about state contracts given to campaign contributors or to go back in time and remind voters the 2002 Doyle campaign kissed up mentally ill people with pastry and small cash prize bingo games or even about how his staff thought it would be a good idea to send a bad of used needles to State Assembly Speaker John Gard's office. He has to find a way to talk about improving the dignity of state government and its office holders. Gov. Doyle's record is an embarrassment to Wisconsin. Mark Green needs to make sure he's held accountable.
"Taxes and Economy Focus of First Guv Debate"
September 16, 2006
Rude Protesters Interrupt Doyle
I've noticed a lack of passion by right-wing voters in Southeast Wisconsin. I think many are still bummed Scott Walker is no longer running for governor.
So while the rude protest at Gov. Doyle's news conference yesterday was "dumb and counterproductive" (to steal from Charlie Sykes) it gives me some hope that Rep. Mark Green will win the election by finding a way to constructively use all that anti-Doyle energy pent up in Southeast Wisconsin.
"Protesters Disrupt Doyle News Conference"
Wisconsin Doesn't Ban Necrophilia
I bet you didn't know Wisconsin has no ban on necrophilia. That may change. The three Cassville kooks who thought digging up a body and having sex with it would be a fun way to pass the time had their sexual assault charge tossed out. It sort of makes sense in a sick, obscene way. It's hard to rape someone when they're dead. You're neither given nor denied consent. It sounds like a question on a law exam from the craziest law professor this side of [fill in the blank with a Leftist-dominated law school of your choice]. Me thinks whoever is sitting in the governor's office next year will be signing a necrophilia law. Just a hunch.
"Judge Nixes Attempted Sexual Assault Charges Against Accused Grave Robbers"
September 13, 2006
Bucher Slams Van Hollen in Defeat
When people run for office they put their hearts and souls into it. Hours upon hours are taken up giving speeches, knocking on doors, contemplating strategy, and raising money. Achieving victory must amount to an amazing high. Defeat must be worse than 50 punches to the gut. I can understand Paul Bucher being upset in his loss to J. B. Van Hollen. What he didn't need to do was lash out the way he did. In his concession speech he said,
We were right on the issues - you know it and I know it. We just ran short of money. And you know, that's disappointing that elections can be bought. And I wish J.B. well, but, you know, dumping that kind of money in the race in the last two weeks tells me Wisconsin's for sale.
Van Hollen has funded a good portion of his campaign with a loan on his home. Using one's financial means isn't buying voters. Sen. Kohl has been funding his campaigns out of his fat wallet for years yet no one claims he's bought Wisconsin.
I'm a tad insulted that Bucher thinks my vote can be bought. I didn't endorse Van Hollen because of a television commerical I didn't see--the guy isn't buying much ad time during Milwaukee Brewers' games. I endorsed him because he is right on the issues, is electable, and would do well as Attorney General.
Bucher was understandably frustrated. Thus I'll give him some slack and forget about his bashing of all those good people who went out in some awful weather to vote.
P.S. Did anyone at Van Hollen's party see where Brian Fraley passed out? Did he have a big grin on his face?
"Falk Tops Lautenschlager, Will Face Van Hollen"
Murtha Wins GOP Primary
Here's an oddity I found among the elections results. John Murtha won the GOP primary.
Ok, this John Murtha has nothing to do with the John Murtha wanting the U.S. to bail out of Iraq. The war probably didn't have any role in that state assembly race. Here's how Wisconsin's John Murtha responded to questions from a local newspaper:
What would your goals be if elected? What would be the main focuses of your term?
No mention of Iraq, which didn't bother me. I don't really give much credence to what either John Murtha thinks about the war.
September 12, 2006
TAM Endorses J.B. Van Hollen
In a few hours the polls will close and the Wiscosin primary election season will end. The big race for me is who will be the Republican nominee for Attorney General. For Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher to be from the region I've seen tons of signs for former U.S. Attorney J.B. Van Hollen. That's an indication of some grassroots party support. Along with that Van Hollen has financial resources to run a formidible general election campaign. A negative is Van Hollen's habit of shooting from the hip and not better explaining himself. That's why his "terrorists in Wisconsin" quip is still following him.
Paul Bucher has been on hell of a prosecutor. His sense of justice has made him take on cases that lesser men would run away from. Think prosecuting former Packers fave Mark Chmura. But the Attorney General's office isn't about directly prosecuting criminals--unless your Peg Lautenschlager desparate for some good media.
As Daniel Suhr writes,
I think JB has the temperment and experience to serve as the state’s law enforcement leader. His service as U.S. Attorney has prepared him well for dealing with a range of cases (criminal, civil) and co-workers (sheriffs, DAs, FBI, etc).
That's not to say Bucher couldn't work with other groups. He might.
On the issues both Bucher and Van Hollen both are solid conservatives who would change state Attorney General policy for the better. With both we would see an empahsis on traditional crime fighting. We would see the end to the philosophy of policy-making-by-lawsuit that began when Jim Doyle was in office.
To end the Democrats' reign of the Attorney General's office we need a capable, conservative candidate with the resources and temperment to win over voters across the state. I am voting for J.B. Van Hollen, and I hope you will too.
September 06, 2006
Doyle-Green Campaign Ad Wars
Rep. Mark Green is getting some good earned (free) media for his radio ad that plays off an old Budweiser commercial:
Jessica McBride talked about the ad for a while on her radio show tonight, and Owen Robinson thinks "it's fantastic." "Mr. Tax-Hiking Politician Man" might be the catch-phrase of the campaign even if Anheuser-Busch isn't thrilled.
Gov. Doyle already has an ad blasting Green for his "illegal" campaign money, illegal only because Doyle flacks on the Elections Board retroactively declared some of Green's money illegal. Well, he took some video from a Madison television station. The out-of-context manner the Doyle campaign used the video ticked off the station:
The clip involving NBC 15 is taken out of context, because attribution used in the story was removed.
Green is going down the Russ Feingold path of cute, funny, memorable commercials that get caught in your head and force you to talk about them at the water cooler. Doyle is airing traditional campaign commercials that bash the opponent with news media quotes and clips. For now this gives Green the advantage. He still has to introduce himself to voters outside Green Bay and the Fox River Valley. He needs a good hook. However, he can't just be known as the candidate with the funny commercials. Voters want to elect a man who will be serious when in office (and I don't mean seriously paying off his campaign contributors). With his first commercials Green is setting the hook. Eventually he'll have to reel the voters in with more substance.
September 05, 2006
Mark Green's Money Machine
With the latest fundraising numbers available we know why Gov. Doyle had his flacks on the State Election Board pull a partisan, unfair, retroactive stunt on Rep. Mark Green. Green pulled in $1.39 million to Doyle's $494,000. According to Kevin Binversie Doyle's cash advantage is only $$327,380.
"Green Outraises Doyle Nearly 3 to 1"
August 31, 2006
State Elections Board Raps Green over PAC Money
Rep. Mark Green got rapped by a partisan vote on the state elections board and ordered to give up $468,000 in political action committee donations he transfered from his federal campaign account to that for his race for governor.
The Doyle campaign is using the board's decision to tar Green, making him look as sleazy as Gov. Doyle. State Democratic Party chairman Joe Wineke called the contested money "dirty." The fact is Green's PAC money was legal when initially raised and legal when moved into gubernatorial account. It only broke the rules when five Democratic board members along with one libertarian decided to stick it to Rep. Green.
Republican State Senator Mike Ellis, fervent critic of campaign finances and no fan to conservatives, said the board's decision was "partisan mischief." Ellis also said, "Every action that Mark Green took from raising the money to spending it, he took according to the laws that were in effect at the time. For the Elections Board to step in at the 11th hour and in a clearly partisan act say that the rules have suddenly changed – and in effect that they should be applied retroactively – is patently unfair."
If Rep. Green's money is illegal then when will Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett be asked to return the money he transfered from his federal campaign account to his 2002 gubernatorial campaign account? At least uber-partisan Bill Christofferson is consistent.
In a memo [PDF], George Dunst, legal counsel to the State Elections Board opined that since the legislature blocked enaction of the board's attempt to prevent Green from moving federal campaign funds into his gubernatorial account, "The effect of the suspension is that Congressman Green’s campaign had the right, in the absence of a countervailing rule, to spend all of its converted money until such time that the rule went into effect."
The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board decided the GOP-controlled State Assembly was to blame for Green's predicament:
The GOP-run state Senate overwhelmingly approved SB 1 last year. Authored by Sen. Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, the bill would have created a Government Ac countability Board with members who could not be political hacks. Law school deans or judges -- rather than politicians -- would have nominate fair-minded people to the board.
That's pushing a pet issue instead of dealing with the news at hand. Democrats on the Elections Board decided a little over two months before the election to stick it to one of the governor candidates. That's a vicious political power play that would happen in a place like Louisiana not Wisconsin.
Chris at the Badger Blog Alliance is absolutely right that the governor's race is a "bar fight." Doyle could have told his cronies on the Elections Board to give Green a pass. He didn't which shows he's willing to use anything at his disposal to win re-election. Democrats on the board say they weren't told how to vote by Doyle. They didn't need to. They didn't get on the board to help Republicans. They're there to advance Democratic Party interests. Owen Robinson writes, "This ruling stinks like a corrupt political move by Doyle’s henchmen on the Elections Board to smear Green during the election."
We're almost at Labor Day when the summer unofficially ends and voters really start looking at the races and candidates. The Green campaign may fight the Election Board's ruling in court. If they do or don't Green will need money to fight all the cash Gov. Doyle and his interests will use to attack Green as "too extreme" for Wisconsin. Now's a great time to dig in your pockets and donate to Mark Green's campaign. Tell Gov. Doyle and his flacks on the Elections Board they can't stop Mark Green from getting his message out.
"Return Cash, Green Told"
August 29, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #162
August 28, 2006
Van Hollen Crime Lab Ad
J.B. Van Hollen uses his lead in campaign funds to put out a new television ad that goes right after Peg Lautenschlager's state crime lab mess.
August 20, 2006
Dohnal Not Backing Down on Sullivan Double Voting Charge
Bob Dohnal, long-time conservative activist and publisher of the Wisconsin Conservative Digest, is not backing down from his charge that State Senate candidate Jim Sullivan double voted in a previous election. In a letter to the editor to a local newspaper that Dohnal e-mailed TAM he writes,
To the Editor,
Dohnal is continuing his fight even though Sullivan's attorney Michael F. Hart threatened legal action against Dohnal in the past:
The purpose of this letter is to place you on formal notice that any further communication whether written or oral including but not limited to, the dissemination and/or distribution of campaign literature claiming that Mr. Sullivan engaged in illegal or improper conduct with respect to his voting history, place of residency and/or compliance with State election laws will be deemed actionable as knowing misstatements of fact, and we will take any and all legal action on behalf of Mr. Sullivan to enforce his rights.
Doyle Getting Indian Money
I'm shocked, SHOCKED Indian tribes have been giving to Gov. Doyle. When you hand out juicy gaming compacts the tribes get what they pay for.
Rule #1 in campaign finance reform: If government didn't have so much power people wouldn't donate to enrich themselves.
"Doyle Re-Election Coffers Flow with Tribal Money"
August 19, 2006
Bucher-Van Hollen Tension Boils Over
There's a reason they invented e-mail. So participants in this conversation won't cringe when they re-read this conversation on a public weblog.
It seems the Bucher-Van Hollen aggitation is spreading from the two candidates. We've got spouses involved, supporters involved, even spouses of supporters (who are supporters themselves) involved.
Hey all, chill out--literally! It's the middle of August, and it's too warm. Everyone should grab a cold beer and relax.
As to the Bucher ad, John “Jay” Balchunas’ name is all over the newspapers. Him being murdered is a documented fact. Bucher mentioning it wasn't exploitation unless you call regurgitating the news "exploitation." Those who were griping need two beers to relax.
"Bucher Pulls Murdered Agent's Name from Ad"
August 17, 2006
Paul Bucher Radio Ad Jumps on Bolton Story
State Attorney General candidate Paul Bucher released a radio ad that takes advantage of news that a backlogged state criminal lab allowed a rapist to run free eventually killing a state Justice Department agent.
In 2006 a 15-year old girl was gang raped. Anthony Bolton later took the girl in his car, raped her, then dumped her half-naked in a park. July 9, 2004 the state crime lab received DNA evidence from the victim. From Bolton's DNA already on file from a previous drug conviction the crime lab finally connected Bolton to the rape in February 2005. That was almost four months after Agent John "Jay" Balchunas was murdered.
This news is damning to incumbent Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager. She runs the crime lab. The backlog of needed DNA testing is widely known. Now, we learn her mismanagement of the crime lab allowed a rapist to run free and kill a law officer.
So while the number of cases waiting on DNA testing at the state crime lab doubled between 2003 and 2005 Peg thinks it's important to do things like prosecute a murder case in Northwest Wisconsin and run off to Hollywood to be on Tyra Banks' show.
"DNA Test Late; Man Free to Kill"
[Ad via WisPolitics]
August 15, 2006
Sullivan's Supposed Double Vote
The drama behind Jim Sullivan's voting record continues. Bill Christofferson writes the accusation of Sullivan voting twice in 1996 is a pack of lies:
The charge is totally bogus, and was dismissed by the district attorney's office in 2000, when Sullivan was running for Wauwatosa alderman. (He won.)
Ah yes, E. Michael McCann's office said there was nothing there. Therefore there was nothing there. This is the same district attorney's office that plea bargains at the first sign of prosecutorial difficulty and wouldn't go after vote fraud in the 2004 election. Steve Biskupic's U.S. Attorney's office has been doing most of the hard work.
Jim McGuigan adds quotes from letters from E. Michael McCann's office.
In Sullivan's case I can see where sloppy record keeping could be the source of the accusation. In the Whitefish Bay voter records it lists two James Sullivans living at 627 E. Carlisle Ave. One with a birthdate of 12.26.1967, the State Senate candidate, and one with a birthdate of 10.27.1936. The younger Sullivan is listed as voting in the general election on 11.05.1996. The older Sullivan is listed as voting in elections in 1998 and 1999. It's not outlandish to conceive Sullivan, Sr. going to vote in 1998 and giving his name to the poll worker only to have the wrong Sullivan marked off. What would be very interesting is if both Sullivans had voted.
To make things a little more interesting I received a forwarded e-mail from J.J. Blonien to Stan Zurawski, Sullivan, Jr.'s accuser. Blonien claims, "Jim Sullivan Sr. was not living in the home on Carlisle during November of 1996, and that candidate Sullivan was watching his parent’s home." Where was Sullivan, Sr.? How would Blonien know this? Who's going to find Jim Sullivan, Sr. and ask him where he was on the night of 11.05.1996?
I could care less about Tom Reynolds' political future. He's a strange man with strange views. I was all set to blast the hell out of him if he killed a school choice bill last March. I'm more interested is documenting voter fraud so laws can be changed to reduce it, and those who commit it are punished.
P.S. Christofferson and McGuigan don't understand the meaning of "lie." Neither man has any evidence Owen Robinson knew he was passing on a falsehood. If the accusation isn't true the worst that can be said is Owen didn't look into the story enough and ran too soon with it. McGuigan wanted to do a little smearing of his own, and decided to bash "right wing bloggers" plural. If he wanted to really do that he should have linked to more than one right wing weblog following the story.
UPDATE: Jay Bullock, A.K.A. Folkbum, corrects me. I incorrectly claimed Michael F. Hart was a part of E. Michael McCann's District Attorney's office. He's James Sullivan, Jr.'s lawyer. So it would make sense for him to legally defend Sullivan, Jr. against false accusations.
August 14, 2006
Green Ad on YouTube
I asked the campaign, and they delivered. Mark Green on YouTube.
State Senate Candidate and Double Voting
First the Spice Boys found State Senate candidate Donovan Riley double voted in 2000, once in Wisconsin and once in Illinois. Now, Owen Robinson received evidence from a reader that State Senate candidate James O. Sullivan might voted twice in a 09.98 election.
Are Democrate State Senate candidates so infatuated with voting they like to do it twice? And these are just two people who got caught. How many do you think get away with it each election?
P.S. Mayor Barrett, we found your vote fraud example. He's a member of your own political party. I eagerly await you to decry his illegality and ask him to end his campaign.
"The More You Vote, the Better You Feel"
"Pattern of Dems Double Voting"
Green's First TV Ad
Rep. Mark Green has finally joined the air wars with his first tv commercial. In it he goes right at the Doyle campaign's rhetoric that Green is "too extreme."
Dare I say it's almost Feingoldian?
[via Boots & Sabers]
August 12, 2006
Eating at the State Fair
For me the whole purpose of the Wisconsin State Fair is food. For others it's their once-a-year chance to see cows, horses, chickens, and cute little bunnies. But since I grew up in a farm community I had my fill of the wonders of heifers soon into my second year of summer work on my uncle's farm. So the state fair for me is stuffing my face and wandering past the political booths.
One requirement is to have a pork chop sandwich.
The Wisconsin pork producers didn't let me down this year. The pork was juicy, tender, and had a touch of smoke from the port-o-pit BBQ. Some BBQ sauce makes up for the lack of fat. Emeril Lagasse is right, pork fat is soooo good. Most modern pork is more healthy but too lean.
My first experience with fried cheese curds was at the Minnesota State Fair. That's their trademark fair food. No fried cheddar goo for me since the line to this stand was too long.
What I will stand in line for are the world famous Wisconsin State Fair cream puffs. The line looked daunting, but it moved quickly. Within five minutes of getting into line I had my sloppy state fair tradition.
I would have liked to wash down my cream puff with some flavored milk, but the line at Sen. Herb Kohl's milk stand was too long. I'm pretty sure the line was bipartisan. Only the wacked-out vegan anarcho-syndicalists don't like a glass of milk for a quarter.
I won't forget to mention state fair politics. At the GOP booth it was your standard political party booth. Mark Green signs dominated with other candidates' signs playing supporting roles. At the Democratic Party booth I noticed Kathleen Falk had a great big sign with Peg Lautenschlager's sign hidden below it because it was much smaller. Should we take that as a signal of party feeling in the Attorney General's race?
One final bit of state fair politics involves the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment on November's ballot. Pflag Milwaukee bought some advertising in the expo hall.
August 11, 2006
Van Hollen Letter to Bucher
In an open letter to his opponent Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher GOP Attorney General candidate J.B. Van Hollen admits yesterday's radio debate was a disaster for both candidates. Van Hollen wants both of them to "stay united in our goal to restore focus and integrity to the office of attorney general." He wants the focus to be on what each GOP candidate can bring to the Attorney General's office instead of nit-picking about what each did or didn't do in their long law enforcement careers.
Here's the whole letter:
August 11, 2006
Wisconsin Attorney General Debate
Staying up really, really late following the U.K. airline bombing story meant I slept through yesterday's Attorney General debate between Paul Bucher and J.B. Van Hollen. After listening to it (hey, Charlie get your podcast RSS feed fixed) I'm so glad Scott Walker and Mark Green aren't facing each other in September's primary. If Bucher and Van Hollen are any indication Walker and Green would have tore into each other but would have had more money so they'd do it with television and radio commercials. And Gov. Doyle would cruise to victory.
Despite both candidates saying they only disagreed with each other's management styles and issues you could feel the bad vibes between the two. That was capped by Van Hollen telling Bucher off-air that his management style "sucked." Van Hollen has apologized on his weblog saying, "I regret that I lowered myself to this level with my language choice." Bucher decided not to accept the apology.
Van Hollen has demonstrated he occasionally says wacky things. His "suck" remark goes right up there with saying earlier in the year, "We have in Wisconsin terrorists who are training and raising funds."
Bucher reinforced former governor Lee Dreyfus' endorsement that he would be a pugnacious Attorney General. Bucher verbally pushed Van Hollen on every question treating his opponent like a hostile witness. That's fine if you're a prosecutor in the courtroom, but not so good you're trying to impress voters you can run the state Justice Department.
Democrats Kathleen Falk and incumbent Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager haven't been as loud going after each other like Bucher and Van Hollen. Yesterday's debate won't hurt the GOP candidate that wins the September primary unless the animosity moves to their commercials. Then voters could have a bad taste for both Bucher and Van Hollen.
The debate wasn't as decisive as I hoped. Both Bucher and Van Hollen would make good conservative Attorneys General that would far surpass the Doyle-Lautenschlager regimes. I will take issue emphasis, character, and electability into consideration when handing out a TAM endorsement.
Here's some other blogospheric reaction:
"GOP Candidates Come out Swinging"
August 09, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #151
August 08, 2006
Drinking Right Tonight
Sorry, guys. You could always pick my brain after buying me a drink.
August 07, 2006
GOP Attorney General Debate Next Week
Next Thursday's Attorney General debate will be very important. I'll be making my endorsement soon after. Misters Bucher and Van Hollen, impress me.
"Van Hollen and Bucher to Debate"
August 04, 2006
Second-Annual State Fair Invasion Tomorrow
I invite all TAM readers to the Wisconsin State Fair tomorrow for the second-annual Badger Blog Alliance invasion. We'll be gathering at the microbrew tent starting at 12:30 and going until we've tried all 30 beers available at the tent or untl we've eaten too many cream puffs and cheese curds. There will be good talk, some laughs, and a few cameras for historical purposes. Hope to see you there.
UW-Madison Flexible Silicon Research
UW-Madison's research is more than just stem cells:
The same high-quality form of silicon that is used inside many new computers could soon be rolled up on a sheet of plastic. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, have shown that the type of high-speed silicon used for the past few years in Intel's microprocessors, called "strained" silicon, can be made thin enough to be transferred to a flexible substrate.
I'm hoping that any businesses resulting from this research can endure Wisconsin's harsh tax climate.
August 01, 2006
BBA Again Invades Wisconsin State Fair
From my BBA post:
The BBA invasion of State Fair will this Saturday Aug. 5 starting at the microbrew tent. I'll be there at 12:30 and will stay until 2:30-3:00 at the latest. This date and time are finalized, signed, sealed, and delivered. Only a Jim Doyle-size contribution will get me to change it. (I'm waiting, Potawatomi tribe.) However, if you ask me nicely I might show up on Aug. 12 because I might want a second day at the fair to see the exhibits.
You can even wear "Green Team" shirts.
July 30, 2006
Wandering the Wisconsin Blogosphere
Brian Fraley is a youngin' when it comes to weblogging, but his "Weekly Takes" reminds me of old school weblogs back in 1999-2000 when it was more about linking than pontificating. He wanders the Wisconsin blogosphere and offers up some goodies.
July 28, 2006
Tommy Thompson Endorses Van Hollen, Bucher's Chances Severely Hurt
J.B. Van Hollen has been slowly and steadily getting endorsements from Republicans all over the state. Today, he got the biggest endorsement of them all: ex-governor Tommy Thompson:
“I am impressed with J.B. Van Hollen's track record and I'm not alone. Based on a record of excellence as a local prosecutor, the President appointed him U.S. Attorney,” said Thompson, the longest serving Governor in Wisconsin history. “We're lucky to have him running for attorney general and I'm confident J.B. will help get Wisconsin back in the right direction. I'm happy to endorse and support him.”
Getting the public backing of the biggest name in Wisconsin GOP politics is great, but even better for Van Hollen is Thompson "will hold a fundraiser within weeks for Van Hollen." Many Republicans wanted Tommy to run against Sen. Herb Kohl because they knew he could raise enough money to be competitive. Tommy directing campaign bucks at Van Hollen will really help the former U.S. Attorney and increase the financial disparity between him and his opponent Paul Bucher.
Van Hollen has tremendous momentum. From my perspective it's starting to look like an avalanche is about to bury Bucher. Thompson on Van Hollen's side will discourage GOP donors from giving to Bucher out of loyalty, trust, and a little bit of a herd mentality. With Bucher at a serious money disadvantage that will get worse he'll have to strongly confront Van Hollen on all sorts of issues and hope Van Hollen says something goofy like terrorists are running around Wisconsin.
"Van Hollen Campaign: Thompson Endorses Van Hollen for AG"
July 20, 2006
Allen-Edmonds Sold to Private Equity Firm
High-end shoe maker Allen-Edmonds was sold to a Minneapolis private equity firm for more than $100 million. No jobs are expected to be cut from the Port Washington, WI plant, nor will manufacturing move overseas. The firm, Goldner Hawn, wants to turn their purchase into a "$500 million brand."
"Allen-Edmonds Fits Private Equity"
July 18, 2006
Lorge Accused of Molestation
I have another reason to write in Casper for U.S. Senate.
July 17, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #135
July 13, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #134
When asked about the campaign he said, “ like Hannibal in the second Punic war with the Roman Empire, he too was out numbered in resources, but set a standard in battle tactics and strategy at Cannae” Aude was out spent by his incumbent opponent in 2004 by a ratio of 3 to 1.
Aude will be wasting all his time telling his supporters how to pronounce "Cannae."
Next, we have Robert Gerald Lorge, the Republican the state party doesn't want to admit is running against Sen. Herb Kohl. Jessica McBride is the only one who's giving him any credence:
And he's at least in the ring. Conervatives have had a lot of Don Quijote pretenders, but he's the real thing. Tilting at windmills, yes, but he makes more sense on the issues than Herb Kohl does.
A candidate is strange when they put their entire resume on their campaign website. I mean the whole thing including:
Class President, St. Mary's Catholic Grade School 1973
I'm sure he has an edge on Kohl there.
Then there's the Lorge RV or the "Lorgemobile" in these parts.
I checked out the Libertarian Party candidate Dave Redick, and discovered he's almost as wacked out as Kevin Barrett. From his website I "learned:"
Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was primarily to get access to build an oil pipeline from Uzbekistan to a warm water port near Karachi, Pakistan (the same reason the Russians invaded in the 1980’s). This project had been delayed for many years but was suddenly approved in Dec-01.
And to think I had been fooled into thinking it had something to do with the Taliban in kahoots with Osama bin Laden.
It looks like I'll be writing in Fred.
July 12, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #133
I missed the All-Star Game just so I could drink right with some fellow webloggers. Elliot, Casper, Cantakerous, Phelony, Josh, Nick, and Aaron (and others who I didn't yap with) were there. If you weren't too bad. Your loss. You missed out on synchonized phone cam picture taking and nail pounding (it's German so it's cool). You can make up for you shame by marking your calendar for the second Tuesday of August for the next episode of Drinking Right.
July 11, 2006
Grothman Not Running Against Kohl
Sen. Herb Kohl will be running virtually unopposed--Robert Gerald Lorge and the Green Party candidate don't count. State Senator Glenn Grothman had enough signatures but didn't have the heart to throw in his hat at the very last moment:
State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) gathered enough signatures to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl but opted not to file them today, meaning Kohl will have no significant opposition in November.
Grothman gets little blame. Deciding to run was a last-minute decision. He probably got an initial rush of excitement from people asking him to run. Then when it all sank in he figured he could do better things instead of the up-hill effort of an underfunded, underdog race.
No, blame goes to the state GOP and Tommy Thompson. The state party failed to get anyone to run so they waited and hoped Tommy would want to stroke his ego one more time in a state-wide race. I give the party a great, big "F." I'm hoping party chairman Rich Graber gets his Bush administration job soon. He's not useful to Wisconsin Republicans.
To those who thought no one should run against Kohl, you better hope Rep. Mark Green beats Gov. Doyle--that's the big reason you didn't want Grothman to run. Because if Doyle wins I'll be rubbing your silly political strategy in your faces.
"Grothman Won't Run Against Kohl"
Charlie's Show Prep #132
July 10, 2006
Grothman Now Undecided; Wait for the Signatures
State Senator Glenn Grothman is not looking like the most decisive person in Wisconsin. This weekend running against Sen. Herb Kohl was a "go." Now, he's not so sure. I'm going with Owen Robinson's theory about needing enough signatures. He writes,
After all, it would be pretty humiliating to announce a run for Senate on Saturday just to have to drop out on Tuesday for lack of nomination signatures.
If that's the case then Grothman's campaign manager shouldn't have blabbed about him running. Word should be spread when one's ducks are in order. with a tight deadline its better to make sure you have enough signatures to get on the ballot then get the media buzz going. Right now, Grothman is looking a little foolish. It's not a strong way to start a campaign.
Charlie's Show Prep #131
July 09, 2006
Grothman Needs Signatures
This evening I got an e-mail with a Glenn Grothman nomination paper attached. It seems Glenn doesn't have the 2000 signatures needed to get on the ballot, and he's got until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday 07.11 to get them. So there's still a possibility Sen. Kohl will run unopposed. When I hear word he's running I assume he's running and not still trying to get on the ballot. It would have been nice if Grothman would have decided to run before Independence Day when volunteers could have swarmed local parades and picnics. Here's keeping my fingers crossed he can get the signatures in time. If anyone wants the form to help collect signatures e-mail me or leave me a comment and I send it off to you.
Grothman to Challenge Kohl
My state senator Glenn Grothman will take on Sen. Herb Kohl for the U.S. Senate.
I'm glad Grothman is running. I just hope he's realistic in his chances of winning. I also hope he squeezed something out of the state GOP for being their sacrificial lamb.
Grothman in the race will do nothing to affect the GOP's chances of re-taking the governor's office or Attorney General's office. If having too many GOP candidates is a detriment we should be demanding Bucher or Van Hollen step aside and end the intra-party battle to focus completely on beating Peg Lautenschlager. A few lawn signs and bumper stickers and maybe even a television ad or two won't hurt Mark Green, J.B. Van Hollen, or Paul Bucher. It won't help either. It's a wash. No GOP candidate will win or lose because of Glenn Grothman.
This will be the fun campaign. With little chance of winning Grothman can say and do things that a more competitive candidate wouldn't for fear of losing. You can get pretty creative when you have nothing to lose. While Grothman will have to publically say he thinks he can win his real goal better be just to punch a few holes in Sen. Kohl's reputation and show his fellow Republicans they shouldn't be afraid of him.
[Cross-posted at the BBA.]
July 07, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #130
July 06, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #129
July 05, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #128
July 03, 2006
Milwaukee Fireworks On...for Now
With possible thunderstorms tonight U.S. Bank will wait until the last possible moment to decide whether to cancel the fireworks display along Milwaukee's lakeshore. The National Weather Service forcast reads, "A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 4am." They've also issued a severe thunderstorm watch for much of Southeastern Wisconsin. I'm betting on a rain out.
June 30, 2006
McGee/Jackson Keeping Name
Michael McGee/Jackson now doesn't want to change his name:
Online court records for the case show an entry from Thursday that states: "Court received call from petitioner advising that he will not be pursuing the petition for name change and will be submitting a letter to this effect." A hearing on the request is set for next week but could be canceled if the matter is dropped.
The alderman still needs to state whether he's been using two different names with two different Social Security numbers. He also hasn't said anything about his possible involvement in a three-car accident in 1996. Over $4000 dollars is still owed to insurance companies from the accident.
"McGee Doesn't Want Name Change After All"
Charlie's Show Prep #127
June 29, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #126
June 28, 2006
Xoff Playing Race Card
Bill Christofferson complains that Rep. Mark Green's supporters are too white. Would he feel better if I started going blackface? In his "superficial racist" world the color of one's skin is more important than one's character and ideas.
[via Boots & Sabers]
June 27, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #125
UPDATE: Some goofy schools have banned tag and touch football at recess in fear of kids getting hurt.
June 26, 2006
Wisconsin by Steam Train
Stephen Karlson relived the old days of steam trains with a trip from Milwaukee to Wisconsin Dells and gives us some pictures.
Charlie's Show Prep #124
June 25, 2006
Marotta Involved with Another Bidding Process
Marc Marotta, Gov. Doyle's former Administration Secretary and now campaign chairman, is alleged to have interfered in another state bidding contract. Spivak & Bice, who are much better investigative reporters than webloggers, have the details:
But an irate vendor, using newly discovered e-mails, is arguing in an Ozaukee County lawsuit that the long arm of Marotta reached into the bidding process for a $55 million-plus building deal awarded by the state in 2004, kicking it to a competitor.
An e-mail from a member of Building Commission member points straight at Marotta:
"Committee discussions indicate that one developer is significantly 'better' than the others," wrote Andrew Richards, finance director for UWM to Peter Maternowski, a staffer in Marotta's agency.
Put this e-mail together with the phone calls from Marotta's office to Adelman Travel during that bidding process and the idea that Marotta stayed clear of bidding processes just went up in smoke.
Since this is the Doyle administration campaign contributions are involved:
Not mentioned in the suit are campaign finance records that show execs from the eventual winning group - which didn't even compete in Round 1 of the bidding process - contributed $51,000 to Doyle's campaign, including $13,000 in the two months after the pact was awarded and $1,000 days before the final vote.
That's amazing. The winning bidders got in late and won the bid. It's the Doyle pay-to-play modus operandi at work.
There's no need for Rep. Mark Green to run negative ads when the the MSM does it's job and publicizes the Doyle administration's misdeeds. At this rate Team Doyle will have to start launching nuclear shots at Green just to frustrate voters. A Doyle spokesman told the Spice Boys, "Mark Green has spent his career behind a desk exchanging votes for special-interest campaign cash." The mud will be flying soon. Team Doyle can't continue to keep taking these hits in isolation.
"Marotta Intervened in UWM Project Bidding Process, Lawsuit Contends"
June 24, 2006
Wisconsin Artist Win National Art Award
There's hope for the art world. David Lenz won the first National Portrait Gallery portrait competition for his photo-like painting of his son in a field.
Will realism become "cool" again? One can only hope.
"In a Father's Experience, Perfection"
June 23, 2006
DPW: Gard Trying to "Trick" Voters
When there isn't any real news in an election it's the job of a campaign to snipe at their opponent. That's what Joe Wineke did to day in a press release attacking State Assembly Speaker John Gard:
But the families of the 8th Congressional District aren’t fooled by John Gard’s efforts to hide the fact that he lived in the suburbs of Madison until just a few months ago. While he supposedly “represented” Peshtigo in the state Legislature, Gard and his family lived in a home he bought in Sun Prairie in 1999.
If Gard had stayed in an apartment and rarely saw his kids who stayed in Peshtigo Wineke would have issued a press release criticizing him for not making his family a priority. That's life in the tit-for-tat world of politics.
"Dems Call Gard's Farm Ad a Trick"
Charlie's Show Prep #123
June 22, 2006
Child Support Problems
Semi-old news is still juicy news. It seems a certain popular conservative state legislator is in a tiff with an ex-girlfriend over child support:
Rep. Frank Lasee (R-2nd) has asked to reduce the child support payments he must make for a child of his born out of wedlock to a DePere woman. A friend of the mother of Lasee's child called www.milwaukeeworld.com, with the permission of the mother, to discuss the matter. She said Lasee wrote to the mother saying that child support payments were too onerous for his modest legislative salary, to which the mother replied that the payments barely covered day care for the infant. Lasee also has not seen the child in five months, according to the caller. While the mother would like the Green Bay Republican to be a part of her child's life, Lasee, she says, is unwilling to make a commitment of his time for such a purpose. "It would take too much time and effort," he said, according to the caller.
"Rep. Lasee: Child Support is Costing Me Too Much"
Charlie's Show Prep #122
June 21, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #121
June 20, 2006
Local School Needs Help After Tornado
I'm quoting this letter to Charlie Sykes in its entirety:
Charlie's Show Prep #120
June 19, 2006
Nobody's Running Against Kohl
Tommy Thompson won't run against Sen. Herb Kohl. Tim Michels, who ran against Sen. Russ Feingold in 2004 won't run. State Sen. Glenn Grothman shouldn't run because it would be a waste of his time unless he really, really wants to travel the state for a lost cause. So the GOP will just have to be satisfied with fruitcake Robert Gerald Lorge (while ignoring him) and focus, focus, focus on electing Rep. Mark Green as governor.
Charlie's Show Prep #119
UPDATE: Brian Fraley can use these too since he'll be filling in for Jay Weber on WISN tomorrow morning.
June 18, 2006
Tornado Touchdown in Hartford
Was less than 10 miles from my house. I was safe and sound at the bookstore when the tornado went through Hartford. Thankfully only one person is known to be in the hospital.
"Tornado Roars Through Hartford"
Troubles at the Sheperd-Express
Conservatives don't take the Shepherd-Express seriously because of its outrageous content. Lefties won't like it for the way some of it's former writers claims they treated employees.
Who's going to read that rag other than those lonely men who need a new 1-900 number?
"Dave Berkman Calls out a Liberal Hypocrite"
Can't Afford Free Pool Admissions
Milwaukee County is under financial crisis. So what does the parks department do? Offer free admission to some of their swimming pools:
To mark their season opening today, Milwaukee County's pools will let kids 11 and under into all pool facilities other than the Cool Waters complex free of charge.
That's on top of the money-making Cool Waters having a free day last Memorial Day weekend. I don't want to hear anymore complaining by parks director Sue Black. She obviously thinks her budget is fine enough to toss around free days left and right.
"Feel Like Smacking Yourself in the Head?"
June 17, 2006
Not Cut Out for Weblogging
Some people need editors. They can't simply pump out some words and put them out for the world to see without looking foolish. Spivak & Bice are two of them. Their sad excuse for a weblog hits a new low when they mistake the National Journal for National Review not once, not twice, but three times. Three times isn't a charm for these two. They must not get out much onto the big, bad internet. National Journal covers Washington, D.C. with a fine tooth comb with a nonpartisan approach while National Review is the flagship publication of the modern conservative movement. It's the subscription-only Hotline political tipsheet versus NRO's The Corner which is free but asking for donations. That should be enough help for the Spice Boys.
"Endangered Politicos' List"
UPDATE: I should have taken a screen shot. The post has been updated without any mention of a correction. I don't think that's how things operate with the dead tree addition.
June 16, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #118
June 15, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #117
June 14, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #116
June 13, 2006
Juror Speaks on Thompson Trial
Jessica McBride interviewed Marvin Bizzelle one of the jurors in the Georgia Thompson case. It is quite a look into one man's perception of Gov. Doyle's administration. He completely discounts the Democratic Party's talking points which claim that Thompson was a "lone gunman" acting alone.
The juror said that all of the jurors agreed that people above Georgia Thompson were involved in the scheme.
Asked if he believed that Gov. Jim Doyle and former DOA Secretary Marc Marotta were involved in the scheme, Bizzelle said "yes." He said that, "There was testimony brought out that Marotta had talked with Adelman a couple of times and the governor went to a party. You know, money runs through politics. "
Asked if he thought that the campaign contributions played a role in Thompson's actions, he replied, "yes."
McBride sums it up:
[H]is comments do present a revealing contrast with Doyle's extensive interview with the media, in which the governor stated that Thompson acted alone and higher ups had nothing to do with it. This juror listened to all of the evidence and he drew the conclusions you see above.
Politically this is damaging to Doyle's re-election campaign. When a group of citizens were presented with testimony and evidence they determined political pressure was present even if not explicitly stated. Call it distrust/cyncism with politics in general--the Culture of Corruption taints all parties--or additional evidence of Doyle's pattern of unethical behavior. A campaign is on shakey ground when presenting facts before voters garners such a negative reaction.
The great thing about this for Congressman Green's campaign is they don't have to do a thing. They can simply talk to voters and let Doyle hang out in the wind without them running a single negative ad. Doyle is taking hits, but they don't have to pay a penny.
That's not to say the election is over. We have five months to Election Day. There's no telling what counter-attack Doyle with think up or what events and issues will come up. We know Doyle took a hard hit to the gut.
"My Interview Tonight with Travelgate Juror Marvin Bizzelle: 'We all felt there was pressure'"
Send Xoff a Case of Rolaids
Bill Christofferson isn't in a good mood post-Georgia Thompson verdict. He calls all us right-wingers "neocons" (funny, I didn't know I was Jewish). Then he goes on to yammer:
I can imagine the well-reasoned responses to this post already: "Doyle flack!" "Apologist!" "Water carrier!" And worse. Have at it. So's your old lady.
It sounds like someone was popping the antacid early this morning. His eyes were probably bulging. His bottom lip pouted out. His nostrils flared. His hair disheveled. He probably called up the Doyle campaign and screamed at a few low-level staffers. Then he quotes Democratic Party/Gov. Doyle's office talking points because he's in no mood for a daunting attempt to convince us Thompson was the proverbial "lone gunman."
"FAQ in the Georgia Thompson Case"
Charlie's Show Prep #115
Georgia Thompson's conviction will take up most of the show, but here are a few items should Charlie need a little change of pace:
Georgia Thompson was found guilty of fraud in driving a state travel contract to a political donor of Gov. Jim Doyle. The prosecution didn't attempt to prove a pay-for-play scheme involving minions of Doyle or the governor himself. They argued "Adelman Travel would not have gotten the contract if Thompson had not illegally inflated the firm's scores." Witnesses said Thompson wasn't happy when Omega World, a competitor to Adelman, got a higher initial score. Travel consultant Ian Thomas testified Thompson told him she didn't know "how I'm going to tell my bosses it's not Adelman." If Thompson's job and future didn't depend on who got the travel contract why did she fight so hard for Adelman? Why did she tell Bridget Nettesheim, a member of the committee, "It wouldn't fly. Politically it wasn't what needed to happen?"
Let me speculate that Thompson isn't that smart when it comes to political intrigue. She did give a few witnesses the impression something was up. Committee member Frank Kooistra testified he thought Thompson liked the "best and final offer" idea because she wanted the committee "to select Adelman as the agency of choice." She might have thought she could survive a trial instead of rolling over. The prosecution got its conviction. Now, they will use sentencing as a lever to get Thompson to talk. What she divulges, if anything, could decide the governor's race.
Federal prosecutor Steven Biskupic is the least political prosecutor I've seen in a while. He said the case was about "Georgia Thompson and Georgia Thompson alone." He also said, "I don't want people to read too much into it, other than we are trying to be careful in what we do." Biskupic is a man who could have led a highly-partisan investigation into Milwaukee voter fraud using it as a weapon in Republicans' favor. Obviously he's a Republican and/or conservative (federal prosecutors are political appointments) but his demeanor is reserved. I see the federal bench in his future.
As for Gov. Doyle's future, that's murkier. What is with the calls from former Department of Administration Secretary Marc Marotta's office and Adelman during the "best and final" offer phase of the bidding? The current chairman of Gov. Doyle's campaign hasn't offered an explanation. Doyle won't surrender campaign contributions from Adelman executives because "Georgia Thompson acted on her own and that no other state employee was involved."
Now for some blogosphere reaction:
"Official Convicted in Travel Deal"
June 12, 2006
Intruder's Unique Choice of Weapons
How would you like to wake up to this:
Leisa K. Reed, 47, was charged with two felonies, armed burglary and second degree recklessly endangering safety and four misdemeanors, battery, intentionally mistreat an animal, resisting an officer and bail jumping.
Police tasered Reed with no effect and ended up putting "their weight on the woman to take her into custody."
"Charges in Pooper Scooper Attack"
Charlie's Show Prep #114
June 09, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #113
June 08, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #112
June 07, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #111
June 06, 2006
No Pity for Racine Taxpayers
If you ever hear someone from Racine complain about taxes being too high have them explain why they keep the school district pick their pockets:
Voters tonight passed a $6.45 million one-year spending referendum. About fifty-four percent of those voting approved the request for more money, 46% rejected it. The vote was 10,413 to 8,920.
Admitted financial mismanagement couldn't persuade voters from turning off the spigot. They're hopeless.
"Racine Voters Back More School Spending"
Charlie's Show Prep #110
June 05, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #109
June 03, 2006
Who would think eating grilled meat, drinking beer, and talking about whatever came to mind would make me so tired. Being in a great park on a beautiful day talking with smart, cool people had a lot to do with it. That and we had a Dennis York sighting.
June 02, 2006
Explain This to Me
Why did I waste my time reading Dave Begel tell me, "Explain This to Me" ten times?
"Begel Ponders Some of the Imponderable Mysteries of Sport"
Spinning the Bookmobile
WISN's Early Spin also gave Mayor Barrett the Bookmobile dig. The idea of giving away Brewers tickets to stop crime is lame and deserves ridicule, but the Bookmobile doesn't have books anymore. Therefore it isn't the Bookmobile. It's called a "mobile community substation" whatever that is. Mock that because...
In the mobile police station, officers would be joined by representatives of other government agencies, schools and community organizations offering services to help people improve their neighborhoods and reduce crime.
If I were mayor I'd load it up with more cops. But then I'm one of those tough-on-crime, go-after-the-bad-guys, law-and-order conservatives who hate black people--especially the McGee/Jacksons.
June 01, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #108
Sex and the CoB
Sex and the Mil-town hosted this week's Carnival of the Badger. Yours truly forgot to submit anything. Me bad. Truly had fun with what little she had to work with.
McBride Biffed It
Last night, Jessica McBride wrote,
Mayor Barrett and Police Chief Hegerty are dispatching the bookmobile to high crime areas to combat the rash of shootings. I am not making this up.
You'd think the bookmobile was being sent as a diversion so potential criminals would read instead of commit crimes. That would be a stupid idea. But that's not the case at all:
The stepped-up police presence would be bolstered by a "mobile community substation" that would be based in the vehicle once known as the Bookmobile. The longtime library on wheels was mothballed by budget cuts this year.
McBride should be happy. The former bookmobile will supporting an increased police presence.
I'm waiting for her clarification.
"More Police for High-Crime Areas Top Anti-Crime Efforts"
[Hat tip to DJ for being skeptical.]
MPA Wants McCann Gone
The Milwaukee Police Association wants District Attorney Michael McCann gone after his handling of the Alfonzo Glover case along with "additional investigations of police officers which (McCann) has handled, and is currently handling."
This is not surprising. McCann hasn't offered an explanation for why he went against the inquest's determination and charged Glover with murder while accepting scores of previous inquest decisions in police shooting.
"MPA Calls for McCann's Resignation"
Spring Fling 2006
Hey Wisconsin webloggers, weblog readers, politicians, assorted media types not embarassed to hang out with the unwashed masses, and new media anthropologists Saturday is the Wisconsin Blogosphere Spring Fling. It's an excuse to get away from our computers (no wi-fi in the great outdoors), eat, drink (Leinie's of course), and meet the assorted ruffians that make up the Wisconsin blogosphere. It's at Nagawaukee Park in Waukesha County starting at noon. Bring your own food (grills will be provided) and drink (nothing stronger than beer and wine coolers). Lefties, Righties, Howard Deaniacs, and Pat Buchananites are all welcome. Even Xoff can come.
"3 Days Until the Greatest Event in the History of Wisconsin"
No New Taxes. Not Even for Culture
Here's a new idea that should be DOA: a seven-county sales tax for cultural attractions. The new tax would pay for the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and other cultural institutions. It sounds sort-of good at first. Backers see it as only being a small tax of 0.01%--one cent for every $10 spent. But it's a tax that's bound to grow. Even before it's enacted Mayor Tom Barrett wants it to cover "City of Milwaukee police and fire services, Milwaukee County parks and various regional transit needs." That already sounds like something higher than 0.01%. Like any tax it will grow and grow. A new special interest will have been created who will tell us the "sky is falling" and culture in Milwaukee will be doomed in the tax isn't raised. Rarely do taxes die. Once in place we're stuck with them.
Mayor Barrett is politically astute enough to not "see an appetite in this community for any increased taxes," but that isn't stopping him from looking at ways to do it.
The problem with government isn't a lack of revenue. We're taxed too much. Wisconsin's total tax burden [PDF] is 32.2%. That's twelth-highest in the nation. The problem isn't a lack of tax dollars.
This idea was "wacky" when Dan Finley quasi-proposed it last year. Time hasn't made it anymore sensible.
"7-County Sales Tax for Cultural Sites Pushed"
UPDATE: Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker both get it.
I’m a firm believer in genuine regional cooperation, but this isn’t cooperation—it’s picking the pockets of the other six counties.
[M]ost people believe that the government already takes too much money from them. I agree. Just look at my second point. If our fringe benefit rate was closer to 30%, we could do a great deal more in the parks. Giving the government the funds from a new tax without fixing the core of the problem just makes it worse in the future.
Charlie's Show Prep #107
May 31, 2006
Bookmobile vs. the Bad Guys
I know Reading is Fundamental but this is ridiculous.
"I Don't Know Where to Laugh or Cry"
Candidates Pounce on Inactive Lautenschlager
Attorney General candidate JB Van Hollen jumps on Peg Lautenschlager for being silent after Milwaukee's violent Memorial Day Weekend:
She's AWOL on fighting violent gun crime in Wisconsin's largest city.
Fellow GOP candidate Paul Bucher went after both Lautenschlager, Gov. Doyle, and dawdling local officials:
Doyle has been too busy to focus on the 28 shootings in Milwaukee over the past few days, I suppose, since he's been wasting time vetoing reasonable pieces of legislation (including one requiring verification of citizenship to get state benefits) and he's been too busy dodging questions about why the man he named Parole commissioner released two cop killers.
"Lautenschlager Needs to Fight Real Crime"
"Lautenschlager and Doyle AWOL on Gun Violence"
Charlie's Show Prep #106
May 30, 2006
Accused Milwaukee Cop Commits Suicide
Officer Alfonzo Glover who was charged with "first-degree intentional homicide in the March 2005 death of Wilbert Javier Prado" posted $25,000 bail, went home, then killed himself.
Patrick at Badger Blogger and Phelony Jones wonder if District Attorney E. Michael McCann charged him to improve his standing with some in the public. This is man who only charged one cop in a fatal shooting during his 37 years in office.
McCann has blood on his hands. He has some explaining to do.
"Officer Charged in Murder Takes Own Life"
Charlie's Show Prep #105
May 28, 2006
Milwaukee's Parks Problems
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an article about the fiscal troubles with the Milwaukee parks system. Blame Tom Ament for putting county employee pensions and benefits ahead of maintaining the parks. This is how bad it's gotten:
Consider: Though parks staffing has fallen by two-thirds since 1986, fringe benefit payments have nearly doubled the last 10 years and are now at $6.5 million of a $37 million parks budget. The hypergenerous pension and sick-leave deal of 2000-'01 and skyrocketing retiree health insurance costs factor in.
The problem isn't too few taxes. Milwaukee residents are taxed way too much. The problem is irresponsible past decisions that are hanging around the necks of County Executive Scott Walker and the County Board.
There's mention of closing down little-used pools, opening waterparks to increase revenue, renting out space to business and special events, and increasing private donations. I'd feel more sympathy with Parks Director Sue Black but Fox 6 news reported last night there was free admission yesterday to the Cool Waters waterpark in Greenfield Park. Yesterday was the warmest day of the year so far. There was no need to get people out to the park. That was a lost opportunity to get some much-needed revenue.
"County Parks Sinking Fast"
May 26, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #104
May 25, 2006
Congressman Ron Kind's constituent service made a boo-boo. A banker sent him a letter on a bill taxing credit union and got two different responses. Joey at Wide White writes,
He holds small community banks "in the highest regard," but he is also "opposed to taxation of credit unions" because those same small banks are "focusing on maximizing profits."
Kind's GOP opponent is Paul Nelson.
"Two Letters. Different Opinions. Same Consituent. Oops!"
"Off the Wall"
Alderman Thriller pumped out a press release. And I'm here to fisk it:
Although I know “Thriller” is considered the top-selling album of all time, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to change my legal name to “Michael Jackson” (as some people have been led to believe).
Only morons who can't read a newspaper article think McGee/Jackson wants the name of the disgraced pop star. The Journal Sentinel article was pretty clear in telling us what is going on.
I am trying to legally change my name to Michael Imanu McGee because I would like to obtain a U.S. Passport for international travel. However, I’ve had difficulties doing this because when I was born, my father was using his birth name, Michael Jackson, so the last name on my birth certificate is “Jackson.”
The reason for the name change makes sense. Too much sense for a race-baiting, rabble-rouser like McGee/Jackson. Where does he want to go? What does he plan to do? I'll take a flier: he'll soon announce he's converted to Islam and wants to go to Mecca.
I was born when my father was serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. After my father returned home from the war, he was adopted, and then started using “McGee” as his last name because it is the last name of his adoptive father. In turn, I was then given the McGee last name, as well, and have used it ever since.
Owen Robinson caught the whopper right away:
How did his dad “get adopted” after returning from Vietnam? Did his dad go into the Army at age 12, or did someone adopt a 25 year old man? Or, as is most likely the case, is McGee/Jackson lying again?
Again, I have been told by federal authorities that because my last name does not match the last name on my birth certificate, I must have my name legally changed to McGee to meet the legal requirements that will allow me to get a U.S. Passport.
I wonder if a passport-seeking McGee/Jackson will be considered a flight risk in his upcoming hearing for threatening his ex-lover in court.
For more Patrick at Badger Blogger has a bad photoshop (but it feels so right) and McGee/Jackson admitting to a tryst he earlier denied.
A Question about Michael McGee/Jackson?
Whatever the alderman's name is I wonder if Michael McGee/Jackson really is Michael McGee, Sr.'s son. Who is his mother? The Jackson had to come from somewhere--maybe from "Thriller's" warped mind.
Charlie's Show Prep #103
May 24, 2006
Tim, Make a Decision
Tim Michels as a Tommy Thompson-like pol who likes his ego stroked? That's what Deb Jordahl thinks,
Having said all that, Tim Michels should realize that his fifteen minutes of fame are just about up, and he’d better use it or lose it. Michels needs to stop playing cat and mouse with the Republican Party just to keep his name in the press. If he wants a future in Republican politics, Michels should get off the sidelines and use his popularity to help Mark Green, Paul Bucher or any number of vulnerable legislative candidates throughout the state.
I'm still mad at him for how badly he ran his general election campaign against Sen. Feingold in 2004. Still, he could do much to build up his image with Republicans and conservatives. Deciding to run or not run against Sen. Kohl, regardless of what Tommy Thompson does, would be helpful.
"Tim Michels Should Use it or Lose it"
Charlie's Show Prep #102
May 23, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #101
May 22, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #100
May 20, 2006
NRA Takes on Doyle
It sounds like there was a little more political passion in Milwaukee at the NRA meetings than at the state GOP convention in Appleton. In Milwaukee "Dump Doyle" signs were everywhere. In Appleton we got stuck with Tim Michels doing bad comedy.
"'Dump Doyle' Resounding Cry as Convention Opens"
May 19, 2006
Tim Michels Considering Senate Run
The Wisconsin GOP needs someone, anyone to run against Sen. Herb Kohl. When no one, not even Tommy Thompson who has the Badger State's biggest ego, will jump at the challenge go for a past loser. Tim Michels who ran a miserable general election against Sen. Russ Feingold two years ago is considering running again. WisPolitics interviewed State GOP chairman Rick Graber:
Ross: Have you talked to Tim lately, you know, about running for U.S. Senate?
Later, Graber goes goofy:
Ross: A big-time campaign and big-time money; does Tim Michels have that right now? Does he have the capability to do that?
With the GOP potentially losing both the House and Senate the "national folks" won't be wasting money on either Michels or Thompson against Kohl's fat wallet. Graber's living in la-la land.
"Interview with State GOP Chair Rick Graber"
Offshore Oil Drilling Vote Count
Kudos go to Representatives Mark Green, Jim Sensenbrenner, and Paul Ryan for voting to open up more of the U.S. coast to oil drilling. To the rest of Wisconsin's House delegation: you have no integrity when talking about high gas prices.
Mayor Barrett, Read the Damn Bill
Yesterday, instead of welcoming the NRA and its thousands of supporters to Milwaukee Mayor Tom "I am a Freedom Fighter" Barrett complained the civil rights organization--which the NRA is--opposes the government sharing gun trace information with among law enforcement by supporting H.R. 5005. Too bad that's not true. Read page 8, section 9.
"Lies from the Other Side"
Charlie's Show Prep #99
May 18, 2006
McGee, Sr. Opens His Big Mouth Again
Michael McGee, Sr. is the most paranoid man I've ever heard on the radio. Patrick at Badger Blogger caught him rambling on about how his son Alderman Michael McGee, Jr. was cheated in athletic competitions and given bad grades just because he was a McGee. With all that oppression how did junior ever become an alderman? The Man must have let his guard down.
In response to his son being arrested for violating a restraining order McGee, Sr. rambled, "Vietnam Syndrome is going to take over and I'm going to go down there and mess up a bunch of them, that’s for sure." I'm still waiting for him to fulfill his threat to--paraphrasing Jonathan Coleman--roll burning tires down the freeways.
"McGee Sr. Blames Everyone Else"
Pay to Play, Journal Sentinel Style
Charlie Sykes asked Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publisher Betsy Brenner if there would be a special section in the newspaper similar to the one when the NAACP came into town last year. Here's Brenner's response:
I don't want to accuse the newspaper of being unethical, but to this layman's ears it sounds like an organization can buy a section of the newspaper. Publishing a daily newspaper costs a lot of money and the Journal Sentinel is part of a public company beholden to its stockholders--which probably haven't been too happy. Many magazines today have special advertising sections filled with articles that don't look like ads. Usually along the top of the pages it mentions it's a paid ad. The Journal Sentinel does something similar in its Sunday automotive section which is sponsored by local car dealers. Did the newspaper point out to its readers that the special section only existed because the NAACP funneled advertising their way? If the section on their website devoted to last year's convention is any indication the answer is no.
NRA's Gun Pledge
Before their meetings have really begun the National Rifle Association has made news in Milwaukee:
The National Rifle Association said today it will ask all of the nation's mayors and police chiefs to sign a pledge stating they would never confiscate weapons from law-abiding citizens, such as in periods of emergency.
It's no surprise the City of Milwaukee didn't take too kindly to the pledge:
"The rhetoric to say we are going to disarm law-abiding citizens is a little over the top," Deputy Police Chief Brian O'Keefe said at a City Hall news conference. Police have neither the time nor the legal authority to raid innocent citizens' homes and grab their guns, O'Keefe said.
Mr. O'Keefe needs to read Boots & Sabers who found this NY Times story that begins:
Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.
The situation got so bad the NRA got a federal judge to issue a restraining order to stop the confiscation.
To Deputy Police Chief Brian O'Keefe such facts are a "little over the top."
In other NRA meetings news Daniel Suhr reports Marquette University won't be holding a party for the NRA like it did when the NAACP came to Milwaukee for its convention last year.
UPDATE: Phelony Jones hopes "the NRA can put a smoking barrel under the ginormous ass of Wisconsin and therefore help motivate us to get concealed carry."
Charlie's Show Prep #98
May 17, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #97
May 16, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #96
May 15, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #95
May 14, 2006
Tommy's Not Running
The buzz surrounding Tommy Thompson running to for governor went "kaput!" He's not running:
After serious consideration and many conversations with my family and people around Wisconsin, I have decided not to run for Governor this year. I have come to this conclusion for two simple reasons: my family's unanimous opposition against another campaign and because I am convinced that Mark Green is the right candidate to lead our party and will be victorious in November.
In between Tommy making some cash in his non-government life I hope he travels the state often to cheerlead for Mark Green. He's a tremendous campaigner who can really rally the troops.
UPDATE: Here is the Green campaign's statement:
Today, Congressman Mark Green, the Republican candidate for governor, announced that former Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson will serve as his campaign’s honorary chairman. Following this announcement, Green made the following statement:
May 13, 2006
Bus Driver Requests Urine from Student
There's no requirement one must be smart to drive a school bus:
A Milwaukee-area school bus driver for the Lakeside Co. has been fired over allegations that she tried to solicit urine from a 14-year-old middle school student to help her pass a drug test.
"Bus Driver Fired For Allegedly Soliciting Urine From Student"
Nobody's for Tommy
Judging from the responses at the Badger Blog Alliance [here, here, here, here, here, and here ] conservative news junkies don't want Tommy Thompson challenging Gov. Doyle in November. We remember Tommy as a good campaigner and policy visionary who made us feel good about Wisconsin, but none of us remember Tommy as a fighter for limiting government. Of course some of us (me included) were too young to know what was going on in Madison.
May 12, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #94
May 11, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #93
May 10, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #92
May 08, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #91
May 05, 2006
Questioning a Poll
Xoff found a problem with the Strategic Vision poll that had Tommy Thompson trouncing Gov. Doyle: we have no idea who sponsored it. It would be hilarious if we discover Tommy was behind the poll.
I'd like to know the poll questions. Wording can drastically change a poll's results. "Hillary Rodham Clinton" polls better than "Hillary Clinton."
Yes, Bill Christofferson makes some sense every once in a while.
"Who's Paying for these Polls?"
Charlie's Show Prep #90
NOTE: There would be links to Journal Sentinel stories but I can't access the site.
May 04, 2006
TPA Dies in State Senate
When the pathetic, wimpy version of the TPA passed the State Assembly last week the whole project died. Tonight's vote in the State Senate was simply symbolic. We can see which state senators care about limiting government and its hunger for more and more taxes. Owen Robinson decided to pay attention and list the names. In a few weeks the state GOP will hold their convention in Appleton. I hope conservatives give certain legislators an earful.
Charlie's Show Prep #89
May 03, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #88
May 02, 2006
Brian Hagedorn survived Northwestern law school. Beware, another conservative, Federalist Society lawyers is on the loose.
Charlie's Show Prep #87
May 01, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #86
April 29, 2006
Bin Laden Sightings
JB Van Hollen was right. There are terrorists running around Wisconsin.
April 28, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #85
April 27, 2006
If you can stand it listen to the State Assembly live audio of the Taxpayers Protection Amendment debate. Much of it is painful to endure. Great speakers are few and far between in that body. Owen Robinson is in wait and see mode.
UPDATE: After some vote failed (I think it was Rep. Lasee's amendment) both parties have gone to caucus. It's going to be a long night.
UPDATE II: Jenna at Right off the shore reports the TPA died 32-66. Speaker Gard has egg on his face.
UPDATE III: Because the Journal Sentinel's DayWatch weblog has no permalinks (dumb, dumb, dumb) I'll quote the entire story about the death of a TPA that limited state and local government:
The state Assembly tonight killed a constitutional amendment that would have clamped tight spending controls on state and local governments - the first vote by either house of the Legislature on constitutional spending limits.
Guys, quit while you're behind. Call it a night, let Mark Green run with the TPA as a campaign issue, and make an organized effort next legislative session.
Charlie's Show Prep #84
Carnival of the Badger
Belle at Leaning Blue put together a fine Carnival of the Badger. Check it out. She sacrificed valuable study time for our reading enjoyment.
"Carnival of the Badger: Q&A Edition"
April 26, 2006
Tire Slashers Receive Sentence
Four of the Milwaukee 5 tire slashers received their sentences today:
Michael Pratt was sentenced to six months in jail, and Sowande Omokunde, Moore's son, got four months in jail. Lavelle Mohammad was sentenced to five months in jail, and Lewis Caldwell received a six-month jail sentence.
The fifth thug, Justin Howell, was aquitted in January's trial.
Thus ends this story of voter interference and violence.
"4 Sentenced to Jail for Tire Slashings"
Charlie's Show Prep #83
April 25, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #82
April 24, 2006
TPA is a Test for Mark Green
Let me add a few thoughts to Owen Robinson's take on the TPA's status.
First, Owen's correct that GOP leadership failed to get a common-sense, uncomplicated amendment passed. We shouldn't be surprised with State Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz because he could care less about limiting government (and his own importance). With Speaker John Gard it's a case of being too concerned about one's political future. Gard cares more about winning a seat in Congress than limiting government spending and power. It would have been better for the TPA if Gard would have stepped down as speaker; but that would have hurt his chance at getting Rep. Mark Green's seat. In Gard's political calculation he put his future ahead of the state's. That shouldn't be surprising if you view politicians like I do as fairly rational, self-interested participants in the political economy.
Second, the TPA can be saved. Even with the short amount of time left gubernatorial candidate Mark Green is the closest the Wisconsin GOP has to a leader. Schultz doesn't give a damn about conservatives, Gard is too busy running for Congress, and party leaders Rick Wiley and Rick Graber are too often the two that can't shoot straight. Only Green is in a position to build a unified front to get a tax limitation amendment passed. It's conceivable his campaign could write an amendment that either limits state and local government spending or taxation that isn't a Rube Goldberg document policy wonks, lawyers, and judges will argue over for years. As the flag bearer for the Republicans he could get Gard and Schultz to at least get a vote on the amendment.
If the TPA dies this year like I think it will I won't put the blame on Green. I'm sure he assumed a GOP-controlled legislature could get something passed. The political situation is such that Green could really enamor conservatives. He would solidify his limited government credentials and have something tangible to hold against Gov. Jim Doyle. If the TPA goes down Green can use the issue in the campaign. For Green it's a no-lose proposition.
Owen is right in the title of his post. "Leadership Does Actually Matter." Mark Green has an opportunity to show the state he has the ability to lead by getting his party's act together.
"Leadership Does Actually Matter"
Charlie's Show Prep #81
April 21, 2006
Two for One
WISN's Early Spin has some smart listeners. Dan Deibert posts an e-mail from one:
The mayor lamented the fact that it is difficult to get the poor and minorities on juries because jury pools are selected mostly from the drivers license database, and most of these people do not drive. As a result, juries skew white, and more affluent.
This might be a way to bridge the Left-Right gap on two issues. It won't happen because Democrats don't mind tampering with voting via fraud, bribery, or property damage.
"Great Email From Larry"
Breaking News from the Future
Courtesy of Dennis York:
Thanks to a new program that provides free wireless internet service in the homes of all Milwaukee Public School students, MPS boys have become instant experts in female anatomy, tests show. "The new program has provided previously disadvantaged boys the opportunity to develop their minds, their research skills, and the muscles in their right wrists," said MPS Superintendent William Andrekopoulos.
"MPS Boys Score #1 in Nation on Female Anatomy Tests"
Charlie's Show Prep #80
Feingold Libels President
Sen. Russ Feingold got plenty of attention for asking the Senate to censure President Bush. It helped to rake in $282,000 for his political action committee. Now, he dropped another "Look at Me!" bomb by libeling him in an ad put out by his Progressive Patriots Fund. In the ad a Karl Rove look-alike tells the President he's the "King of the United States." He then says, "For starters, we should be eavesdropping on anyone who disagrees with you." Fake Rove adds, "It's not 'domestic spying. It's 'terrorist surrveillance.'"
According to Feingold President Bush has considered spying on political opponents. Where's the evidence? There isn't any because that's not what is going on. From all reports the NSA is monitoring terrorist conversations including those with people inside the United States. In Feingold's Daily Kos-fueled world that means Bush is engaging in Nixonian abuses of power. That's libel.
I'm not talking about libel in the strict legal sense. The President is a public figure so people have far more latitude in what can be said about them. Also, to defend himself in court lots of details of the top secret NSA program would have to be released. Still, the ad is "a published false statement damaging to a person's reputation" (Oxford American Desk Dictionary). Since Feingold has offered no evidence showing President has ordered NSA spooks to spy on political enemies the ad meets the definition.
The Confidentials has a good idea. Hey, Russ! Put a sock in it!
"I Can Not Tell a Lie…but Russ Feingold’s Commercial Might Have"
"Someone Save Russ Feingold, From Himself!"
April 20, 2006
Say a Little Prayer
Kevin Binversie's father needs a heart transplant, plus he's been "poked, prodded, probed" over the past year. The family will endure even more stress. Please keep them in your prayers.
Charlie's Show Prep #79
UPDATE: Charlie should really like this one. Jason McElwain's basketball story will be made into a movie.
April 19, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #78
April 18, 2006
McGee to Get Sharpton to Milwaukee
The anger after the Frank Jude verdict didn't turn into rage. The last thing Milwaukee needed after the injustice (and what turned out to be a lousy prosecution combined with lying cops) was a further tearing of her social fabric. That disappoints a race-baiter like Michael McGee. He's bummed thousands haven't followed him to hit the streets crying, "No justice! No peace!" He's bringing in an A-list race-baiter, Al Sharpton for added oomph. McGee wants to learn about racial instigation and demagogery from one of the best.
In a press release [PDF] McGee also threatened the U.S. Justice Department to strictly regulate the Milwaukee Police Department possibly even taking it over. If it doesn't McGee says it would be responsible for the city exploding like a "powder keg." That will only happen if people give into the self-promoting exploits of McGee.
This is McGee making a power play. Do not underestimate him. He's learned plenty from his racist father. An empowered McGee will only worsen race relations in Milwaukee.
"McGee Calls in Sharpton"
Charlie's Show Prep #77
April 17, 2006
Mark Green's "Tax Hell" Speech
Today, Rep. Mark Green forcefully came out for tax and spending controls. It's the first time I can recall a major statewide politician calling Wisconsin a "tax hell."
Many outstate Republicans will be grumbling silently while Southeast Wisconsin conservatives will be cheering. Green sounded like one of "Charlie Sykes Stormtroopers."
In recent weeks, a number of startling statistics have come out that all say the same thing – Wisconsin’s tax burden has us at a competitive disadvantage as we try to attract good-paying jobs and grow our economy.
Charlie's Show Prep #76
April 15, 2006
Milwaukee in a Post-Jude World
Thankfully, anger at the Jude verdict hasn't resulted in violence. Wisconsin Avenue isn't ablaze. Maybe the sad news of the discovering of Quadrevion Henning's and Purvis Virginia Parker's bodies tempered people's passions. Or maybe Good Friday did it. Things could have gotten very ugly.
What is ugly is the relations between the Milwaukee Police Department and the community it's sworn to protect. The Code of Silence that allowed three ex-officers to get away with brutally beating a man tells the public the police is above the law. Any hope of near-term progress in countering the "Stop Snitchin'" culture vaporized with Jude verdict. I don't envy Police Chief Nan Hegerty or Mayor Tom Barrett.
There will be heightened tension between Milwaukee's whites and blacks since the Jude jury was all white, the defendants are white, and Frank Jude is mixed race. It's understandable, but I hope the focus is placed on the conflicting testimony of the police at the scene. Someone was obviously lying. A jury must believe the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. Rich Esenberg writes, "Eyewitness identifications are not as certain as people believe them to be and the defense must have kicked up enough doubt about them given the fact that the prosecution witnesses were drinking, may have identified the defendants only after their picture was in the paper, etc." Our legal system places the benefit of the doubt on defendants. Because of that injustices can and will happen.
I'm more than willing to speak out against the injustice that occured. I just won't do it anywhere near that race-baiter Michael McGee. Owen Robinson writes,
This verdict will also serve to prop up the race warlords of Milwaukee – those who derive their power from racial hatred and anger. The McGees, Pratts, and Holloways of the world are going to be bolstered and strengthened. Every time these folks are strengthened, it weakens Milwaukee.
Lord help us.
The WTMJ radio yapping trio comment on a podcast.
April 14, 2006
Police Found Innocent in Jude Case
Badger Blogger is reporting all three former Milwaukee police officers were found innocent in the Jude beating case. The jury is deadlocked on one count. Here's hoping the anger at that injustice doesn't turn into violence.
"Jude Beating Trial (Not Guilty)"
Charlie's Show Prep #75
April 13, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #74
April 12, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #73
April 11, 2006
In Kathleen Falk's Wonderland
Only in the wacky world of Madison, WI would it make sense for Kathleen Falk to run to be the state's top cop while praising herself for helping illegal aliens avoid the law. I wonder what other laws Falk would not enforce?
"Eyes Wide Shut"
Charlie's Show Prep #72
Don't Insult Me
I'm with Chris and would like the out-state Republican to have the guts to tell me I simply take marching order from a talk radio yapper. I want him to tell me my concerns for smaller government and lower taxes are less important because of where I live.
Mr. Nameless Republican needs to understand we are loud conservative voices who want conservative policies advanced. Since the GOP is the more conservative of the two major parties that's whose train we have to hook up to. I'm a conservative before a Republican. If I thought there was a chance to advance conservative ideas with the Democrats or a third party I'd jump at that. In other words, I'm not beholden to the GOP. The party will forget that at its political peril.
There are obviously political differences because of our geographic and economic perspectives. For the most part we're on the same side. The GOP is the best of choices. We need each other to elect Mark Green as governor and to have a Republican take the Attorney General office. The GOP will need Southeast Wisconsin conservatives to get the gay marriage amendment passed this fall and the TPA passed if it ever gets through the legislature.
To the Wisconsin Republican Party here's some helpful advice: you'd be better off with me to be for you than against you. I'm not being arrogant. My little corner of the internet isn't a 50,000 watt radio station. But I can still cause you a lot of pain and annoyance. Just push conservative ideas and you'll be just fine.
"The Great Divide"
April 10, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #71
April 07, 2006
Holloway Squashes Investigation
Lee Holloway gets his investigation quashed. The chairman and vice chairman of the Milwaukee County Ethics Board both resigned in frustration. Brian Fraley has the timeline of how Holloway played "hardball."
It's like the county board doesn't remember the corrupt Tom Ament years. Except this time Citizens for Responsible Government is around to continue the fight [DOC].
"Milwaukee's Ethics Meltdown"
Charlie's Show Prep #70
April 06, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #69
April 05, 2006
Someone's dreaming at Ask Me Later.
"Wouldn't It Be Grand...."
Charlie's Show Prep #68
April 04, 2006
Republican for Socialized Medicine
A Republican who sponsors a bill for socialized medicine. If that doesn't make you a Republican In Name Only (RINO) I don't know what does. Jenna's has the details.
"A Republican Introduces Socialized Medicine"
Charlie's Show Prep #67
April 03, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #66
March 29, 2006
You'll notice to the left J.B. Van Hollen is advertising on TAM. That's no endorsement. I'm neutral. J.B.'s campaign put up the dough just like any advertiser can. I haven't followed the attorney general race closely, but I've heard good things from both Van Hollen and Paul Bucher. With the end of the GOP governor's primary more attention will go to the AG race. Van Hollen vs. Bucher will be good to watch but not as much as the slug-fest between Democrats. Kathleen Falk and Peg Lautenschlager.
March 28, 2006
When the Perfect is the Enemy of the Good
With Scott Walker out of the governor's race there's been some Mark Green bashing on local weblogs. Charlie Sykes doesn't offer any links (tsk, tsk; the most important thing about the web; being on vacation is no excuse) so I'm going to assume most of the criticism has been in the comments. After Walker dropped out I knew some people were bummed. Many have quickly come around. Even Chris at Spotted Hourse knows the ultimate goal is to beat Gov. Doyle, and Patrick at Badger Blogger thinks "Green is a great candidate."
To Walker supporters still upset with Green here are two words: chill out. The guy's a conservative. He's voted to cut taxes, control spending, ban partial-birth abortion, and require photo ID at the voting booth. Compare that to Jim Doyle.
It's obvious the Green campaign has to reach out to conservative Southeastern Wisconsin voters who really liked Walker. Since I think he's a smart guy who will do what it takes to beat Doyle I have no doubt he'll do that. All I ask of you Green critics is to keep an open mind. Breathe in, breathe out, then imagine four more years of Governor Doyle.
"Newsflash: Green is Better than Doyle - Much Better"
March 27, 2006
A Quibble with a Quibble
In Daniel Suhr's round-up of coverage of Scott Walker's exit from the governor's race he quotes TAM and gripes against "some (self-righteous) finger-waving at Mark Green" with regards to my complaint with Rep. Mark Green's ethanol stance.
Later on he doesn't think Green will campaign to the middle now that he won't have a primary opponent. He uses as an example Green not caving to the "right-wing on ethanol even as he was getting pounded on both talk and paid radio." Does Daniel think government requiring gas to contain 10% ethanol to be a conservative position? Such interference in the free market doesn't sound like the conservatism of Goldwater, Reagan, or Gingrich. It does sound like President Bush's Big Government conservatism which also includes massive increases in educational and social welfare spending along with trade protectionism.
Ethanol has been my primary concern with Green. I'm a conservative first, then a Republican. If Green pushes policies I don't consider conservative I will call him out and oppose them. No candidate will agree with me 100%. If I wanted the perfect candidate I'd run myself. I was no Walker sycophant. In fact, until he dropped out I didn't endorse either GOP governor candidate. When comparing Green and Doyle there's no question who I support. As I wrote last Friday, "On school choice, on taxes, on spending, on government regulations, on ethics Green is superior. For that I'm endorsing Rep. Mark Green for governor of Wisconsin." Ethanol isn't a deal breaker. Green wants to end Wisconsin's image as a tax hell and improve the business climate. If he pulled that off I probably could swallow an ethanol mandate. Politics is the art of the possible. There's a clear choice in the election. Voters can choose the conservative Rep. Mark Green or the liberal, ethically-challenged incumbent governor.
"Quibbles with Commentary"
First, Eugene Kane wants certain members of the Wisconsin blogosphere to "Get some backbone or get out of the blogosphere." He complained about some webloggers (i.e. Jessica McBride) who don't allow comments. Ironic from a pathetic excuse of a weblogger who doesn't have weblog comments of his own (start griping to your employer if it's so important). I guess McBride's prominent listing of her e-mail address doesn't count. (It's actually in a bigger font than Kane's.)
Now, Kane decided he's superior because he gets letters to the editor and does webchats. It's no longer about comments. I'm still waiting for that coward to send me an e-mail or leave a comment. Hell, I'm still waiting for him to understand that being part of the blogosphere is linking to other webloggers. It's called being polite, a trait he rarely displays in his published words. He's still a weblogging newbie so I'll cut him a little slack. Even big media voices have to earn respect in the blogosphere. Kane has a ways to go.
March 26, 2006
Sen. Russ Feingold wanted attention to "force" him to run for President in 2008. So he decided President Bush needs to be censured. He did this without talking to any fellow Democrats. It wasn't a part of an overall strategy to weaken the President. It was self-promotion. Well, it worked:
A Newsweek poll taken March 16-17 found that 50 percent of those surveyed opposed censuring Bush while 42 percent supported it, but among Democrats, 60 percent favored the effort.
It's not gone two weeks, and Feingold is still getting free media. That had to top any of his expectations.
"Feingold's Censure Call Gives Him Boost"
March 25, 2006
Silence Blocks Finding Missing Boys
News about the two missing Milwaukee boys hasn't been found on TAM because I didn't have anything to add that you couldn't find in the newspaper or on television. Now, the story has gotten interesting along with being tragic:
Police now believe people who know something about two missing Milwaukee boys are withholding information that could lead to a major break in the investigation.
Kids don't vanish without leaving some clues. Since Purvis Virginia Parker and Quadrevion Henning disappeared last Sunday authorities have no leads. We know why. Someone isn't talking. I know the Black community doesn't have the greatest amount of trust in the Milwaukee Police Department. Since inquests looking at police shootings rarely call for an officer to be prosecuted I understand some of that distrust.
While two boys' lives are at stake people with vital information are running a personal "Stop Snitching" campaign. They may be proud of their bravado or fear for their lives, but families are in pain. They want to know what happened to their children.
"Somebody Knows, Somebody Saw Boys, Police Say"
March 24, 2006
Walker Calls it Quits
It will be Rep. Mark Green versus Gov. Jim Doyle this fall. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker bowed out of the race citing a failure to reach fundraising goals:
"I give my full support and endorsement to my friend Mark Green," Walker said in a speech prepared for a 5th Congressional District audience at the Country Springs Hotel. He released a copy of his remarks this afternoon to the Journal Sentinel.
Since Walker and Green are very close on most issues their differences, no matter how small, would be magnified. Thus the hammering I gave Green on ethanol. With Doyle's bad poll numbers I expect Green to win in November. If and when the ethanol mandate comes up I will be as opposed to it then as I am today. I'll want Doyle bounced out of office, but that doesn't mean Green will get a pass.
Still I defintely prefer Rep. Green to Gov. Doyle. On school choice, on taxes, on spending, on government regulations, on ethics Green is superior. For that I'm endorsing Rep. Mark Green for governor of Wisconsin.
People are talking over at the Badger Blog Alliance.
"Walker Withdrawing from Governor's Race"
UPDATE: Here's Walker's withdrawal speech.
UPDATE II: Owen Robinson recorded Walker's speech tonight.
Charlie's Show Prep #65
March 23, 2006
On High Altert
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get between Sen. Russ Feingold and a reporter. Think "Hulk smash!" if you do, and that's from either direction.
I'm just warning you.
"Alert Level Raised to HIGH"
Charlie's Show Prep #64
March 22, 2006
RNC Ad Spanked
FactCheck.org slaps the RNC for its Sen. Russ Feingold-bashing ad. Emi Kolawole writes,
[Feingold's] resolution would censure Bush for the way in which he ordered wiretaps, not for the wiretaps themselves. It would condemn him for "unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining the court orders required " (emphasis added), and also for "failure to inform the full congressional intelligence committees," and for "his efforts to mislead the American people" about the legalities of the program.
Feingold complains about an unlawful process. With reasoning like Rick Esenberg's [also here] that's not a clear-cut case. He writes,
President's interpretation of his constitutional authority is reasonable and certainly does not constitute the type of criminality and wholesale disregard of the law that would warrant censure.
A problem with FackCheck.org's analysis is it leaves out the political context. Feingold launched his censure crusade because he wants to run for President and rally the Left to his side. From reading Kolawole's piece one could easily think Feingold is just a Jimmy Stewart-type getting beat up by the big, bad, misleading Republicans.
"RNC Mischaracterizes Feingold's Censure Resolution"
Charlie's Show Prep #63
March 21, 2006
Lousy Anti-Feingold Ad
It's great the RNC is running radio ads against Sen. Russ Feingold. He deserves all the ridicule he gets. However, the ad is awful. With slightly scary music in the background a voice monotonously tells us Feingold and the Democrats are weak on fighting terrorism. Big time snoozer. I fell asleep half-way through it. It was a good idea, but bad execution. Amateurs could do a better job. Do any of my readers want to take a crack at making their own Feingold-bashing ad? If you give it a shot, send me the file. I'll host it and give you lots of love (if it's any good of course).
Or if you have little audio editing talent (like me making podcasts) then leave me a voice message below. All you need is a microphone connected to your computer.
President of the Kosites
Congratulations to Sen. Russ Feingold. He's the far Left's choice for President beating Wesley Clark and whupping Sen. Hillary Clinton. Glee fills Bill Christofferson:
Russ Feingold is President of Daily Kos blog by a wide margin. Not a representative sample, by any means, but not a bad place to start for someone who's willing to run as a progressive.
It's not a good place to start either. The track record of Kos-endorsed candidates is--how do I put it nicely?--pathetic. That's what happens when you believe in the internet-flavored kool-aid you're drinking. Get ready to add Feingold's name to the list should he be formally crowned "progressive savior."
Patrick McIlheran goes off on Sen. Feingold. To sum it up: Feingold is full of himself.
"Everyone Likes to Listen"
Charlie's Show Prep #63
March 20, 2006
It's new to me so I'm linking to Rick Esenberg's pro-Taxpayer Protection Amendment op-ed from last week. He makes some great points including this:
For example, tax-limitation opponent Andrew Reschovsky has run the numbers and claims that, had the amendment been passed in 1985, state government in 2003 would have had 30% less to spend.
I'm leaning for the TPA, but I have to read all 2,500 words of it before I fully back it. So many words mean many possibilities for loopholes. I agree with the intent: state and local government should be restricted fast much it can suck out of taxpayers' pockets. In the TPA's case it won't mandate reductions in revenue collection. It will only control its growth. That's quite modest for economic libertarians like me. People like Milton Friedman, Rep. Frank Lasee, and Americans for Prosperity like it which is a good indication. Like the proposed gay marriage amendment the devil is in the details.
Charlie's Show Prep #62
March 17, 2006
Don't Roll Out the Red Carpet
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, your not-so humble host will be making an appearance at the "Inaugural WisPolitics/WisOpinion Blog Summit." Sorry, I won't be tossing candy. Instead I'll be seeing how many Hershey's kisses I can toss into Aaron's mouth while he's griping about ethanol.
My gripes with the event are known. At the summit I promise to try to be a good boy. Key word is "try." As a veteran of weblogging conferences I've found the conversations away from the panels and speakers are the highlight. Putting a face to a weblog is great. There's instant camaraderie because we already know so much about other webloggers' interests and how they think.
If things get really dull, as in Ed Garvey droning about the greatness of Bob LaFollette, it's off to the hotel bar for me and whoever I can drag.
I hope to see many of my Wisconsin readers there.
Everyday I come across a statement in the new that I laugh at. It usually is some kind of spin or melodramatic hyperbole that makes me question if the intended audience will fall for it. Talking about how some policy will "help the children" is a prime example. While I just mock the speaker to myself Dennis York turns this stuff into "must-read weblogging."
"Damn You, Tax Code!"
Charlie's Show Prep #61
March 16, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #60
My vacation was officially over when I stepped into work yesterday. Charlie Sykes can once again sleep a little longer knowing I'm helping him out with his show prep.
March 15, 2006
Ah, yes. My last chance.
It's been wonderful hanging out with the Wisconites (Wisconsonians?) this week. But I don't feel I've been sufficiently irritating, so I'd just like to point out that my dairy lobby can beat up your dairy lobby.
(Actually, my dairy lobby is obnoxious, if you want to know the truth. They're like the mafia ova heah.)
March 14, 2006
Owen Robinson and Jay Bullock were interviewed about Sen. Feingold's ridiculous censure resolution. Good job by both. And as luck would have it they'll both be talking at WisPolitics' "Blog Summit."
"Owen on News At 10"
March 13, 2006
Scott Submerges Censure
Scott McClellan brushed aside Sen. Feingold's censure attempt calling it something "to do with 2008 politics." That something, as Brian Fraley notes, is getting a rise out of the Left end of the blogosphere.
Let's give the media whore credit: he's gotten two news cycles out of this.
"W.House Dismisses Democrat's Call for Bush Censure"
State Rep. Scott Jensen will go to jail for campaigning using taxpayers' funds. Granted, he broke the law, but doing so was par for the course. Former Assembly Democratic Party Leader Shirley Krug for current Gov. Doyle campaign staffer Rich Judge were never dragged before a court. Jensen wasn't even allowed to mention to jurors Democratic activities were the same as his. Is that fair? Shouldn't jurors be allowed important information to understand the environment of the state capitol at that time?
There's no way Jensen's case should have ever gone to court. With the extent of the abuses that took place in the capitol a more sensible method of enforcement would have been through legislative ethics committees, media reports, and elections. What we have now is similar to the police pulling one car over for going 65 in a 55-zone while ignoring the hundreds of cars passing by. How are people, even legislators, suppose to behave toward a law that rarely or selectively enforced?
March 11, 2006
The Living Dead That is Ethanol
Ethanol is turning into a political zombie. It was just killed by the state senate, but it just won't die:
[State Senator] Dave Zien is requesting an extraordinary legislative session from Gov. Jim Doyle when the Senate reconvenes in late April to investigate gas prices and revive legislation on ethanol and minimum fuel markups.
He blames the "power of conservative talk radio." (What, no mention of weblogs? Darn, we have to be like Avis and "try harder.") No, he blames an informed and activated public, including his small-government base.
In the elections this fall much of the focus will be on the governor's race. We can't forget to ask state legislative candidates their stance on an ethanol mandate. It shouldn't be the issue that makes for breaks an candidate, but it could be a sign of how small-government they are.
"Zien to Work to Re-Introduce Ethanol Mandate"
March 10, 2006
Isn't He Already
A lawyer in La Crosse is arguing that his 13-year-old client should not be convicted as an adult for a crime he committed because,
His crime? He murdered his mother by choking her when she took away a "squeaky dog toy" from him.
Isn't he already a sociopath or a psychopath? Seems like it.
According to the ADA in La Crosse county,
But this lax sentence is not enough for this kid's counselor. For the crime of strangling and killing his mother,
Had I tossed around the term "RINO" too loosely I'd be the butt of one of Dennis York's jokes. If you're a reader of the conservative Wisconsin blogosphere read this and try not to laugh.
Speaking of York vote for him for MKE's "Blog of the Week." It's a no-brainer.
March 07, 2006
Walker's Ethanol Ad
There isn't much difference between the two GOP governor candidates. So Scott Walker has to take advantage of anything that differentiates him from Rep. Mark Green. He tries that with his new radio ad on ethanol. It not only goes after Green's stance but also ties it into Gov. Doyle. It's not a bad ad, but Walker can ditch the Gettysburg-style soundtrack.
"The Merits of Limited Government"
UPDATE: I didn't notice a trifecta before I left for work this morning. A software upgrade will have to come sooner than I expected.
Charlie's Show Prep #59
What's My Name?
Last time I checked I have a name. It's even displayed multiple times on my weblog. Hell, every single post that I've written has my name attached. It seems the Spice Boys, super-duper investigative reporters they are, were too lazy to add those 13 letters to their post on my little spat (not a "mini-war") with Charlie Sykes. Fire that intern! They're slacking off instead of earning that all-important "hands-on" experience.
"Hell Has Frozen Over"
P.S. It's "The American Mind" not "the American Mind." And Spiceblog ain't much of a traffic generator. Of course I'm used to Instalanches. (For Spivak & Bice, that means a link from Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit weblog.)
March 06, 2006
Back on the Ethanol Bus
Scott Walker is back to harping on Rep. Mark Green about ethanol. He writes,
One issue is a concern all over the state, and one that surprised me a bit, is the ethanol mandate.
Who are these people "all across this state?" To fight the ethanol lobby we need facts, something tangible to counter the host of politicians who think an ethanol mandate is a godsend to Wisconsin.
Charlie's Show Prep #58
Good Additions to "Blog Summit"
Wow, whining pays off.
Two more leading Wisconsin bloggers have been added to the March 18 inaugural WisPolitics/WisOpinion Blog Summit to talk about the blogging phenomenon.
Bravo to WisPolitics for fixing the problem. They could have easily been stubborn which would have led to bad blood.
Now, it looks like I'll have to try really hard to attend.
March 05, 2006
Conservative Opinion on Gays
The Right is evolving. In my short lifetime attitudes toward homosexuals has gone from snickers and using "gay" as an insult to placid acceptance. Whether that's good or bad is another question. Much depends on who you ask. Me, I'll work, laugh, talk to them, and treat them like any other human beings. Just don't expect me to accept that lifestyle as morally legitimate as a hetrosexual one. As for marriage I'm in the camp of getting the state out of the marriage business replacing it with civil unions that encompass homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. I'm not out on a limb too much. Donald Sensing wrote something similar along with James Joyner.
Here is a question for my friends on the right who are against Gay Marriage.
Since webloggers' views are early indicators of political and cultural views don't be surprised if the same-sex marriage amendment on November's ballot goes down or, at the very least, squeaks through.
March 04, 2006
Blog Summit Reaction
One milestone for the Wisconsin blogosphere is the one Charlie Sykes noticed:
A press release from a candidate for governor focusing solely on the reaction of the blogosphere.
Another way to know a weblog community has "arrived" is when individuals are knee-deep in navel gazing. The Badger blogosphere has reached that point. It started with Owen Robinson and I
If I didn't make myself clear in my previous post I am not insulting or putting down any webloggers on the summit panels. I read most of them and love their contributions. More smart people writing good stuff is always better than less.
Telling a little of TAM's history will let you know why the initial summit line up set me off.
I've toiled on my little part of the internet for over six years. I've written short posts, long posts, important posts, not-so-important posts. TAM started out as a simple text file of HTML that I uploaded to a server once or twice a day. TAM version 1.0 was ugly and a far cry from the slicker, more reader-friendly weblogs running now. I started TAM because I am a writer, and publishing on the web allows me to get my thoughts in front of an audience without having to know a newspaper editor, book publisher, television producer, or talk radio call screener.
Since I'm a writer I want two things: 1) I want a place to be published; 2) I want readers. Lots of readers. For me weblogging isn't just about the intellectual challenge to write something insightful, intelligent, or (occasionally) funny it's about the egoboo. Egoboo stands for "ego boost." When I'm linked by other webloggers and websites and have my material mentioned on the radio it's a high. I love that feeling, and I want more of it.
It's annoying when a newbie weblogger pops onto the scene and is an instant hit. It's frustrating when you think you're putting out material that's as good as another certain weblog but you only get 1% of their traffic. Traffic and links are the currency of weblogs. It's how we keep score. It's a sign of respect. The initial list of participants in the weblog summit showed there was a lack of respect for those weblogs that have laid the ground work for the blogosphere today. Professor McAdams writes,
Second, remember C.C. Colton's dictum that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." The fact that lots of people other than you pioneers are getting into blogging is a huge tribute to you.
Up to a point he's right, but it's not like we "pioneers" dried up and went away. We're still here pounding away at our keyboards continuing to offer something interesting to readers. We like some actual appreciation beyond knowing we are trailblazers.
I admit I'm sucking on some sour grapes. Do you blame me? TAM is one of the oldest Wisconsin weblogs and no one bothers to ask what the blogosphere was like in 1999. No body remembers Robot Wisdom, the Instapundit of his time. Persistance doesn't always pay off. Which shows I write for more than traffic, money, and chicks. Weblogging is fun. Obsessive, yes, but still fun.
Now, before this post gets too ungodly long I want to address Jessica McBride's concern that critics are bashing summit participants. I don't think I put anyone down except for WisPolitics who is organizing the summit. If anyone has a beef with me it's Ann Althouse because I compared her to Judith Miller. McBride is mentioned for her short time as a weblogger.
There's a difference between webloggers with an audience from their other work and webloggers like me who appeared out of no where like a quantum particle. In McBride's case I believe she was on Charlie Sykes' television show before starting her weblog. (If I'm wrong she'll let me know.) Even if that wasn't the case she knew Sykes and that was a way for her to get traffic. Reporters, lobbyists, and news junkies know Ed Garvey, Brian Fraley, and State Senator Mark Pocan. Professor John McAdams is a prominent figure on the Marquette University campus and has been on Sykes' radio show. Sykes has a radio transmitter to tell the area about his weblog. Their experiences as webloggers are much different than those of Owen Robinson and myself. Neither of us are journalists. We didn't immediately have people curious about our writing.
That doesn't make McBride, Sykes, et al any less "real" than more veteran webloggers. More voices in the blogosphere mean more readers and more interesting reading.
I've found out the WisPolitics gang heard the complaints and are trying to fix it by adding more webloggers. They're learning which is commendable.
The real downside is after all my bitching I might not be able to attend. I'm one of those who has to work on Saturdays. Getting a day off at this late a date isn't impossible but it isn't a sure thing. Scheduling the summit on a Saturday shows me WisPolitics partially understood the populist nature of weblogging. That's another plus in their corner. I'll do my best to be at the summit. With all the talk about it so far we know it won't be boring.
Sad Excuse for a Weblog Summit
Mark March 18 on your calendar. Why? Because Brian Fraley said so. WisPolitics is hosting the inaugural WisPolitics/WisOpinion Blog Summit. Here's the line up of famous, semi-famous (this is the blogosphere we're talking about), and notables:
Ooo. It looks like a line up from a random broadcast of Sykes' Sunday Insight tv show.
Let me inform the powers that be that the beauty, interest, and dare I say it, power of the blogosphere isn't from people already involved in politics and media jumping onto the "next big thing." Its power comes from empowering voices of people who previously didn't have a voice or the ability to be easily heard.
Ann Althouse is smart and has a good weblog (she's on my blogroll), but she doesn't take on Wisconsin issues. She comments on national and international issues and rarely links to Wisconsin webloggers. She's not involved with the Wisconsin blogosphere be able to address the state of it. I don't want to have this sound like an insult toward Althouse but it's like Judith Miller keynoting the conference announcing Pajamas Media to the world. WisPolitics must have felt they needed some "big-name" weblogger to give their summit heft and Althouse is conveniently over in Madison.
Who's missing from the list above? There's not a single member fo the Badger Blog Alliance on that list. It's only the most important collective in the Wisconsin blogosphere. It's members gave life to the Milwaukee voter fraud story last year.
One person who would be perfect for the summit is Boots & Sabers' Owen Robinson. For state issues from a conservative perspective there's no better place to go. The guy not only has connections, is passionate, and can write, but he also does a darn good job speaking.
Or how about letting Fred at RealDebateWisconsin talk about how he turned his weblog into a one-man investigative reporting department by digging into Voces de la Frontera's harassment of State Senator Cathy Sepp?
Now, I'll look at how long the panelists have been in the blogosphere. State Sen. Pocan has only been posting since 01.03.06. Garvey has three years under his belt. Althouse, two years. Sykes, three-and-a-half. McBride, eight months. McAdams, consistently one year. Fraley, three months. TAM has been running for over six years. 74 months to be exact. That compares to a combined 127 months of those "vaunted" summit participants. That averages out to a little over 18 months of weblogging experience per weblogger.
Who has a better perspective? Who has the experience dealing with a new medium without having an already-existing audience from which to get readers (Althouse excepted)?
I do not blame the participants one bit for attending. If WisPolitics invited me to speak I would have jumped at the chance. My gripe isn't with the webloggers. It's with a mentality that can't see new, unique voices beyond what's in front of your face or who you're talking to on a daily basis.
P.S. [I'm starting to feel like Mickey Kaus] Who will be the weblogger of the year? I'm confident it will be one of the people above. It certainly isn't me, and after publishing this post my chances of ever getting it are less than zero.
March 03, 2006
Did I Go Too Far? Part II
Charlie Sykes replies to my previous post:
Sean obviously believes that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
I must be the only person who was confused at the conversation. I listened to the Sykes-Reynolds exchange again. It still sounds like the Ovadal link came out of the blue. That may be because Reynolds called Sykes out of the blue. There just wasn't enough context for me. There was no reminder of his attendence at an Ovadal homosexual conference. For not remembering all Reynolds' extremist behavior I plead guilty. If I'm "quibbling" when I care about the logical process of discovering someone's core attitudes than I'm guilty of that too.
With the reaction from other BBA members I feel like I'm in right field (pun intended) on this one. It wouldn't be the first time.
A few years ago a liberal weblogger accused me of supporting Jim Crow laws. Since I wasn't even born when Jim Crow was in effect I knew the charge made no sense. In an e-mail I demanded an apology. I never got and haven't spoken to the person since. Maybe the best lesson I'll take from this is to begin my private accusations through less public mediums.
P.S. Ann Coulter is an anti-Muslim bigot. If she wants to discuss that with me I offer her plenty of space on my weblog.
Charlie's Show Prep #57
No need to mention anything about obvious stories like the school voucher vote and Steve Avery.
March 02, 2006
Did I Go Too Far?
I'm not backing away from what I wrote. I can only put myself in Sykes' and Reynolds' shoes. If I were Reynolds I would have demanded Sykes directly accuse me of being anti-Catholic. If he would have refused I would have demanded an immediate apology. If none was offered I would have hung up.
Accusing someone of bigotry demands evidence, not guilt-by-association. Charlie mentioned Reynolds participated in Ovadal-run conferences. I didn't hear that on the radio today. It's mentioned in a Spivak & Bice story from two years ago. My memory isn't that good. That's a much stronger piece of evidence to Reynolds' extremism. Just going after a business relationship isn't enough to me because if someone wanted to they could connect me with wackos of whatever stripe. One could make the argument that I endorse questionable currency speculation because one of this weblog's sponsors wants you to buy Iraqi currency. One could claim Sykes was a racist because his mentor was the late Michael Joyce who provided funding for Charles Murray's research on The Bell Curve. Sure it's very indirect and has little authority, but the danger with guilt-by-association is many will run with their initial impression.
If I were Sykes I would have questioned Reynolds about attending Ovadal-run conferences and would have ignored any of his printing work unless the material was anti-Catholic. Like the knee-jerk opposition to Dubai Ports World I want substance and actual facts.
Charlie is correct that the Right needs to attack its wack jobs and drive them away. From the time William F. Buckley kicked out the John Birch conspiracy nuts the movement has had a history of policing its own. Conservatism is a movement of reason, order, and decency. Bigots have no place in our big tent. Calling muslims "ragheads" has no place nor does Catholic-bashing. Sykes' intention is good I just didn't like his execution.
Teresa Halbach's Death Detailed
Evil can be found anywhere, even near the place I grew up. Teresa Halbach's horrible, gruesome death shocks and saddens me.
Be wary, the reports are graphic.
Charlie Went Too Far
State Senator Tom Reynolds reiterated on Charlie Sykes' show that he wants his amendment put into the school choice compromise. He drafted it and sent it off to Governor Doyle's office to see if he'd sign the bill with it. Expect Doyle to reject the amendment. He'd love nothing more than to claim he tried to fix the problem and blame it on the Republicans. Reynolds is falling into this trap.
Reynolds has not backed down from voting against the compromise unless it's dirtied up with his amendment.
Then Sykes tried a little guilt-by-association to browbeat Reynolds into voting for the bill. He questioned him about a Pastor Ovadal who has anti-Catholic views. Reynolds prints a homosexual pamphlet for the man.
Reynolds sounded quite surprised, and countered by asking if a lawyer opponent would be considered a supporter of pedophilia if she was hired by a child abuser. He right. Every view of Reynolds' customers isn't his responsiblity. He only has control over what he does. If Sykes wants to paint Reynolds as anti-Catholic he needs to offer evidence and not resort to a cheap shot.
Reynolds isn't getting off the hook. If the school choice bill falls because Reynolds votes against it I will oppose him for re-election.
Charlie's Show Prep #56
March 01, 2006
Senate Ethanol Vote
It doesn't appear there will not be one today, but from Owen Robinson's sources Senate Majority Leader Dave Schultz wants to force a vote soon.
"They Have The Votes"
Charlie's Show Prep #55
UPDATE: The great Dick Bennett will retire from college coaching after this season.
February 28, 2006
Reynolds' Bad Politics
It's important not to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Unfortunately on the school choice compromise that's what State Senator Tom Reynolds is doing. Tonight, on Jessica McBride's show on WTMJ he said he wouldn't support the compromise unless it included some indexing that would help Milwaukee property taxpayers. I wasn't sure what he meant, and even he admitted it was hard to explain.
It's good to be on the constant defense for taxpayers. Madison has too few representatives who do that, but the school choice bill isn't the time or the place. It's a toss-up on whether the State Senate will pass the bill. Governor Doyle has done nothing to get Democrats on board. The only Democrat who has said he'll vote for the bill is Jeff Plale.
Last night, McBride wrote,
He might be right on it in principle. But adding bells and whistles into the choice compromise could doom it. Other Republicans are telling me that this amendment is highly unlikely to pass the Senate (as indicated by the vote today in committee), and that it would likely doom the choice compromise in the Assembly, where rural Republicans feel they can't risk being seen as funneling more money to Milwaukee.
If this bill fails to pass and get signed by Doyle because of Reynolds he can kiss goodbye any chance of examining his school funding concerns. Politics involves compromise (especially when margins are this slim). Politics also involves payback. If Reynolds kills lifting the caps there will be a price he'll have to pay.
I'll echo McBride, "Get this compromise through first."
TPA Public Hearing Tomorrow
Tomorrow there is an important public meeting in Pewaukee on the Taxpayer Protection Amendment. Here are the details provided to me by Americans for Prosperity:
Who: Senate Select Committee on Taxpayer Protection Amendmentand Assembly Committee on Ways and Means
Expect public employee unions, teacher unions, and those that refuse to believe local government can restrain its spending. Defenders of taxpayers' pocketbooks need to come out in force.
Owen Robinson will be there. I won't, but I'll be there in spirit.
Charlie's Show Prep #54
February 27, 2006
Michael Joyce: a Tribute
When National Review's John Miller wrote A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America it gave him the opportunity to talk at length with Michael Joyce who ran the Olin Foundation before moving to the Bradley Foundation. Miller briefly collects a few of Joyce's accomplishments.
To have a glimpse into Joyce's influential mind I found this essay "On Self-Government" which attacks the progressive liberal project of the 20th Century. He concludes:
And so today, when progressivism says to us that there is no nature’s God, and so no divinely inscribed "self-evident truths" in the human soul, let us reply that without such truths, there is no sure foundation for human freedom and self-government. When progressivism insists that the human being is utterly free to create or express himself without limits, let us reply that "there can be no moral freedom without moral responsibility and accountability," and no political freedom without civic virtue. When progressivism insists that family, neighborhood, church, and voluntary association are parochial and repressive constraints on our self-expression, let us reply that only through such institutions can we as free people "exist, develop, and seek the higheer purposes of life in concert with others," and come to a proper understanding and practice of self-government.
Still a Snob
The JB Van Hollen campaign just "informed" me JB has a weblog. Obviously my e-mail address is on one of their media/weblogger lists and no one checked to see I already commented on the weblog. Nothing like an impersonal e-mail to make a weblogger feel special.
To be an equal-opportunity snob (since I have no horse in the state Attorney General race) Paul Bucher's weblog doesn't have permalinks to individual posts and no post authors listed. If I were interested in a post I'd like to directly link to it. And I'd like to know who wrote the post. If it was Paul, great. If it was a staffer, fine. I just want to put a name to the words. Another negative is many posts are squeezed together. The design reminds me of the first version of TAM when I hand coded it and uploaded it to Angelfire every night.
Bucher makes up for the weblog with CatchandReleaseKate.com. The concept is well thought out and it's substantial enough to be more than an online cheap shot.
Charlie's Show Prep #53
February 24, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #52
February 23, 2006
When Wackos Strike
Some anti-war protesters didn't think Sen. Herb Kohl is pure enough:
The activists asked Kohl to endorse a timetable for troops to withdraw from Iraq as fellow Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has done. They also called on Kohl to vote against a supplemental spending bill that includes about $72 billion more for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The Extreme Left vs. The Left"
#1 Difference Between Walker & Green
Scott Walker correctly points out the biggest difference between Rep. Mark Green and himself is on ethanol:
The biggest philosophical difference between the two of us is on the ethanol mandate. While I support farmers (I grew up in a rural town and my mother was born and raised on a farm), I don't support mandates. Incentives are great, but don't mandate the type of gas that we must use in Wisconsin.
Especially in Southeast Wisconsin this issue will hurt Green. With his strange understanding of monopoly I worry if the Congressman will be able to effectively advocate sound, pro-growth, conservative economic policy. On ethanol Walker beats him hands down. Let's see if he can turn that into a real advantage.
Owen Robinson checked the State Senate calendar and saw "no Ethanol on it."
"WTMJ AM 620 Success"
Charlie's Show Prep #51
February 22, 2006
Walker vs. Green I
Charlie Sykes did very well by hosting the first on-air debate between Rep. Mark Green and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Through much of the debate/discussion I couldn't see glaring differences between the two. Both are conservatives, generally, want to lower taxes and get government off our backs. For conservatives and Republicans trying to figure out who to support the ability to win is the most important criteria. Walker can tell us all he wants that he's been attacked by Doyle flunkies for years the ad put out by the Greater Wisconsin Committee means Green is the front-runner. Polls give him the lead and his support is more state-wide.
Still, there is one big difference between the two: ethanol. Walker won't mandate that gasoline contain 10% ethanol while Green would consider it as long as it didn't burden business. But that's exactly what mandates do. Green worries about our gasoline dollars funding terrorists. If consumers are so concerned about that then they'll consider that at the gas pump. A state mandate rips away that ability to choose. It takes away people's self-govenance. Ironically Green later said he opposed smoking bans in bars and resturants because people have free will. So he thinks they can make decisions about second-hand smoke but can't for what they put in their cars.
I harp on ethanol because Walker and Green are very similar. They both want to cut taxes, control spending, and improve Wisconsin's business climate. Either man will be a much, much better governor than Jim Doyle.
Gov. Doyle, being a wimp, didn't bother to accept Sykes' invitation. I guess he didn't want to be on the same stage as the man who will replace him.
Charlie's Show Prep #50
UPDATE: Silly me. Charlie Sykes has been a little busy today.
February 21, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #49
February 20, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #48
I knew that stalker sneaking around my house looked familiar.
February 18, 2006
Smaller Local Government in Name Only
On shrinking local government Jessica McBride worries:
If we can't get government officials to adhere to the conservative principle of smaller government in the most conservative county [Waukesha] in this state, we are in big trouble.
It's not just her neck of the woods. Washington County, arguably as conservative as Waukesha, won't ditch a sales tax.
"The Bloated Waukesha County Board: It Takes a Lot to Support those 35 Supervisors"
February 17, 2006
Beware of the Red Marching Hordes
Charlie's Show Prep #47
February 16, 2006
Ann Althouse's snow pictures make mine look like those made by a six-year old given his first Polaroid camera.
Don't worry about me being trapped in my home during the storm. I've got some food to keep me alive.
There'll be no version of Alive here.
Don't forget to
Now I Know How NYC Felt
What was I thinking?
Theoretically I was to work this morning. I went through my normal preparations, brushed off my car, and got on the highway. From my house it looked like traffic was moving fine. Only when I started zooming south did I notice visibility was less than one-quarter of a mile with snow blowing all around me. After pulling over at the first exit I called it to let the boss know I wouldn't be coming in. He told me everything was fine down there (30 miles away), just rain.
So I turned around and came back home, slip sliding all the way. A little shoveling was done when I heard of all things thunder. Thunder during a snow storm. I've lived in Wisconsin's winter wonderland almost my entire life, and I've never heard thunder during a snowstorm. Snow is now coming down at about one inch per minute. Our wimpy winter has gone the way of the dodo.
Mother Nature has giving me a free day. Hmm... what to do? My only real priority is to move some snow around. The rest is up to me. One thing I can do is get a good start into Glenn Reynolds' new book An Army of Davids.
UPDATE: It's 52 degrees in New York City! Get some of that over here.
There are more pictures below the fold.
Charlie's Show Prep #46
February 15, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #45
February 14, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #44
February 13, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #43
Back in Wisconsin means it's back to the grind. No offense, Charlie.
February 10, 2006
Actions Not Words
Gov. Jim Doyle would sacrifice unborn humans for Wisconsin jobs.
Wisconsin, Doyle said, is a leader in research on the medical benefits of stem cells, which carries strong potential for commercial application in the pharmaceutical industry.
Last year, Doyle vetoed a bill banning human cloning. It would hurt Wisconsin's economy he argued. He said, "Screw you," to everyone who doesn't think economic growth should come from an ethical morass.
While the promise of a stem cell industry in Wisconsin is far in the state's economic future the governor ignores recent events that will have an economic impact much sooner. An Alcoa executive spelled some of them out:
But Wisconsin also carries some disadvantages in competing with other Midwestern states for business investment, said Wilkinson, who is vice president of Alcoa North America's public strategies group.
Doyle had the ability to improve both the product liability and medical malpractice laws. He vetoed both of them. On the economy his talk is cheap.
"Wisconsin Must Stay at Forefront of Stem Cell Research, Doyle Says"
February 09, 2006
With black candidate Lynn Swan and Ken Blackwell having legitimate shots in governor's races Charlie Sykes asks the Journal Sentinel editorial board, "If they win, will they be African-American 'leaders'.... or asterisks?"
February 08, 2006
Mark Green on Doyle Scandals and Ethanol
My flight to Washington, D.C. had two passengers many of my readers will be familiar with. Scott Jensen, who's trying to stay out of jail, was on my flight as well as Rep. Mark Green who is running for governor. I didn't get a chance to speak with Jensen, but I did get to ask Rep. Green a couple questions while walking through the airport.
On the Rich Judge remaining on Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign staff while admitting to have broken the law by campaigning as a staff member in the legislature Green said, "It's obviously a judgment Gov. Doyle has to make. We all have to be accountable for our actions." He continued, "We have a stain on state government right now." Green wants to talk about issues. Instead, he's having to listen to people's concern about corruption in state government. "Everywhere I go people express their anxiety" about Doyle's scandals.
I then wanted him to clarify if he supported mandating ethanol in gasoline. Green said, "I wouldn't support any ethanol requirement if it adds to the regulatory burden on business." The reason he's sympathetic to ethanol is he thinks petroleum has a monopoly. "98% of all the gasoline in America is totally petroleum-based. There is no choice right now.... I want to see people have real choices." His idea of what monopoly is is far from conventional thinking. When econonmists think of monopolies they mean a sole producer of a good or service. In the early 20th Century many feared John Rockefeller building a monopoly through his Standard Oil. Today, there are multiple companies selling gas. There may be collusion but there's no monopoly. Also, no one is stopping gas stations from selling ethanol-blended gas. With the bad experiences Southeast Wisconsin has had with reformulated gas the only way consumers in the rest of the state will buy the inferior fuel is to be forced by the government. Rep. Green is wrong. There is choice, and the choice being made is not to buy ethanol.
Another odd element to Green's answer was he doesn't want to add further "regulatory burden on business." Any kind of government mandate would do so. So conceivably any ethanol bill that came before him as governor would be vetoed. This sounds like Green's way of supporting the ethanol industry while trying to improve Wisconsin's business climate.
I'll make the recording of my brief interview with Rep. Green available as the next episode of my podcast Speak later tonight. For now, it's time to do a little sightseeing.
Charlie's Show Prep #42
Call this the "I'm on my way to Washington, D.C." edition:
February 07, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #41
February 06, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #40
February 03, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #39
February 02, 2006
Disgusting Death Threats
It's one thing to take your state representative to task to being a flip-flopper. It's another to scare his wife with death threats:
Democratic Rep. John Steinbrink said that his wife received two threatening calls to their home late Tuesday afternoon after he voted to sustain Gov. Jim Doyle's veto of the concealed carry bill.
To whoever called in that threat you obviously aren't civilized enough to carry a concealed weapon let alone advocate for it. Go back under that rock you crawled out of.
Spotted Horse has raised its formerly dead head. [No, I don't think Chris is a Dead Head. He kills animals for sport. Dead Heads just kill their own brain cells. --ed]
Charlie's Show Prep #38
February 01, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #37
January 31, 2006
Assembly Fails to Override Concealed Carry Veto
In a remarkable example of flip-flopping Democratic Assemblymen Terry Van Akkeren of Sheboygan and John Steinbrink of Pleasant Prairie both backed Gov. Doyle's veto when they initially voted for the bill. I wonder what the two Faith No More fish got out of handing their votes and credibility to Doyle?
"Concealed Weapons Veto Override Falls Short"
Charlie's Show Prep #36
January 30, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #35
Charlie Sykes might not need any material. He could spend 3 1/2 hours letting callers rant and nash their teeth about Brett Favre. Here's some non-Packers material anyway:
January 27, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #34
January 26, 2006
Questions for Russ
Charlie's Show Prep #33
January 25, 2006
Only the Law-Abiding Obey Gun Laws
Charlie's Show Prep #32
Tomorrow's show will probably be all "Adelman all the time." Still, here are some other stories that should be mentioned on this morning's show:
It's obvious I have no pull in the Badger Blogosphere. I urged some creative, talented type to pump out a photoshop job inspired by Charlie Sykes' new nickname. I've seen zilch, zip, zero. You've let me down. If you're having trouble I found a weblog post to help you out.
January 24, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #31
Mark Reardon Axed
Mark Reardon getting fired because of "budget adjustments" bums me out. His show kept AM radio entertaining for me at night when other station's signals fade into the background radiation. (I'm staring at you WISN.) He is to the right, but not as much as Charlie Sykes or Mark Belling. He tossed in a lot of pop culture which was refreshing. Now, I'm stuck with more Clark Howard, the dweebiest man on radio. He dishes out plenty of good information, but the man's a nerd.
Sadly, WTMJ's website "airbrushed" Reardon from its web site. His name is gone from talk roster, but a page still exists that simply reads:
Newsradio 620 WTMJ regrets to announce that Mark Reardon has left the station, as the result of 2006 station budget adjustments.
Who knows how long that page will remain? At least Charlie Sykes was nice enough to post a goodbye.
I have a suggestion for Mark: podcasting. He'd be good at it, and he'd have a lot more freedom.
January 23, 2006
Oh captain, my captain! Lead me!
(I'm expecting some extreme photoshopping. Don't let me down.)
UPDATE: Sorry, Charlie. I'm no photoshopper. The was was just something I found on the net. I hope someone with the skills could do something. I just provided the inspiration.
Charlie's Show Prep #30
UPDATE: I found one more good one. People are revolting over tech school's taxation without representation. Jessica McBride should take some credit for pushing this issue. Also on the Family Care story Scott Walker sent McBride an e-mail disputing the newspaper's assertions.
January 22, 2006
Grand Jury Investigates Doyle
With his low poll numbers Gov. Jim Doyle will have a hard enough time fighting off either Scott Walker or Mark Green this fall. The last thing he wants to deal with in an election year is a grand jury investigation:
Authorities have convened a federal grand jury to review whether campaign donations to Gov. Jim Doyle played a role in the state awarding a $750,000 contract to Adelman Travel.
If and when U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic calls Doyle before the grand jury expect Lefty flacks like Bill Christoferson will pound on him for turning the investigation into a partisan Starr-like witch hunt.
"Grand Jury Examines Contract"
January 20, 2006
Plea Agreement in Tire Slashing Case
Milwaukee District Attorney E. Michael McCann's office is known as a plea bargain machine. Conservatives were pleasantly surprised when his office took the Milwaukee 5 to trial. Prosecutors went through eight days of testimony and arguments and put it in the jury's hands. Until a few hours ago it seemed like we would have a verdict, but that wasn't the case. Prosecutors gave up at the first sign of a deadlocked jury and cut-and-run by handing out plea bargains:
In an unexpected twist in the Election Day tire slashing trial, four former Kerry-Edwards campaign staffers, including the sons of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, have agreed to plead no contest to misdemeanors. Prosecutors will recommend probation sentences as part of the deal.
In the end those interested in justice and fair elections should have never put their faith in E. Michael McCann. This case once again demonstrates the soft-on-crime approach that's plagued his career.
[via Brian Fraley]
UPDATE: The blogswarm has begun:
I expect more to come.
UPDATE II (There could be a lot of these since I'm posting them as fast as I can find them):
UPDATE VI (Final one for this post and probably the night):
Waiting for the Verdict
The jury deliberates on the fate of the Milwaukee 5. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this morning they might be close to a verdict:
In a possible sign one or more guilty verdicts could be coming this morning, the jury in the Election Day 2004 tire-slashing case sent a note to Circuit Judge Michael Brennan asking whether, when filling out their verdict forms for each of the five defendants, anything should be written in to indicate which of three possible theories of party to a crime a person was being found guilty under.
The lastest I heard from a radio report was the jury was "hung" up on a charge of being party to a crime. Many in the courtroom were confused by the jury's use of the word "hung." From my distant vantage point it looks like they're stuck on one or two of the suspects while being finished with the others. Talk radio yapper Jeff Wagner, former prosecutor, thinks the jury will get done today so as to not have to come in on a Saturday.
For some reading to pass the time Patrick at Badger Blogger links to the Chicago Tribune's take on the tire slashing story.
"Election Day Sabotage Trial Pits Democrat Against Democrat"
Charlie's Show Prep #29
January 19, 2006
State Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer will run for re-election and Manitowoc County Executive. He's also vowed to answer his own phones and never ask a staff person to pick up his dry cleaning. His next trick will be to break the laws of physics by being in two places at the same time.
Seriously, it will be impressive if he can pull this off. From what I know about him he's politically strong, but this does provide an opening for his opponent(s).
"Drat, I Was Supposed to Leak This"
Don't tick off Mother Nature:
A goose was to blame for a power outage Wednesday in the Menomonee Valley.
Either it was a stupid bird that thankfully purged itself from the gene pool, or it had a death wish. In that case it must have been pretty happy with this week's Supreme Court ruling on Oregon's assisted suicide law.
"Goose Knocks Out Power To Menomonee Valley"
Charlie's Show Prep #28
January 18, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #27
January 17, 2006
Doyle on His Big Night
Jennifer McBride is live-blogging Gov. Doyle's State of the State speech. I normally don't bother with these but she had a hilarious line right away:
WONDER HOW MANY OF THESE SOLDIERS ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM?
Charlie's Show Prep #26
Sorry, Charlie. I got so psyched on 24 Sunday night I passed on helping you out. Two more hours of television's second-best show (still trailing Battlestar Galactica) pushed me until the wee hours of this morning to find some great material for your show.
January 14, 2006
Feingold Courting the Pinkos
Last Sunday, Wisconsin's very own Sen. Russ Feingold went to Vermont to endorse Rep. Bernie Sanders' bid for the U.S. Senate. You wouldn't know this if you rely on the Journal Sentinel as your only news source. (Craig Gilbert, you dropped the ball on this one.) The "independent" Sanders is an vowed socialist. Such a maverick that Russ. He backs a guy who wants to socialize American health care (we'll get stuck with long waiting lists like Canada), pass job-reducing regulations like boosting the minimum wage, and close American markets to international trade. With the way Feingold was praising Sanders you'd think they were identical except for height, age, and accent. Feingold=Sanders=socialists.
Feingold didn't stop at endorsing Sanders. He praised Howard Dean as DNC chairman. He actually said there was a possiblity of impeaching President Bush over NSA spying. "I will not take anything off the table," he told the Vermont audience. By standing side-by-side with Sanders Feingold courts the MoveOn.org radicals that make Bill Clinton's fans look like free-market hawks. Only if the far Left has taken over the Democratic Party Feingold stand a chance at the Presidency.
"Feingold Makes Pitch for Sanders During Vermont Visit"
[Added to Wizbang's Carnival of the Trackbacks]
January 13, 2006
Only One Year Ago
Kevin at Lakeshore Laments reminds me that on this day last year Charlie Sykes took local webloggers seriously enough to invite them onto his radio show. Kevin also reminds us the Big Guy in the Sky gave us a big break with the Milwaukee election fraud story. That perfect positive storm launched Wisconsin's conservative blogosphere. 2006 is an election year. That will elevate readers' craving for lightning-fast political news and commentary. My fellow BBA members and myself have a great opportunity to deliver that. I noted last year, "This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship." So far so good.
Charlie's Show Prep #25
Should I celebrate not getting bored after 24 previous helping hands to Charlie Sykes? Sure. Let's dance.
January 12, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #24
January 11, 2006
Magazines: Too White
Eugene Kane wonders about too-white magazines:
It makes you wonder how places like GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Conde Naste Traveler and Fitness Magazine can truly report on the multi-cultural population of America without minority writers or staff assistants.
Maybe those writers can actually transcend race unlike a certain black newspaper columnist/newbie weblogger. I didn't know one was required to be black to write about blacks. This must be similiar to the Journal Sentinel's editorial board handing out an asterisk to Justice Clarence Thomas for not being black enough.
Out-of-State Thugs Slashed Tires
Two defense lawyers for the Milwaukee 5 claim out-of-state Democratic operatives slashed the tires of GOP vans on Election Day 2004. With that they tar the Democratic Party. Craig Mastantuono called them "the out-of-towners, the industry people." Sowande Omokunde's attorney Robin Shellow said the non-local thugs "aren't just card-carrying staffers," Shellow said of the outside consultants. " . . . They believe the fight is for legitimate democracy, and they're passionate." Michael Pratt's lawyer Rodney Cubbie practically accused Opel Simmons by saying, "Until Opel Simmons and his team hit Wisconsin, nothing like this had ever happened." Simmons is an important prosecution witness who will say they heard the defendants brag about the tire slashing.
This is quite the indictment of the Democratic Party. Either local thugs engaged in property-destroying voter suppression or out-of-state thugs did. Either way it means a few Democrats decided the 2000 election was so completely abhorrent and illegitimate that they decided tire slashing was an acceptable action. That's the slippery slope down an "ends justifies the means" philosophy. What's bad is the national Democratic Party never denounced the attack. The closest I found was a mention by spokesman Seth Boffeli blasting "supporters on both sides." Hmm. As if leaving a hateful voicemail or stealing some lawn signs is equal to trying to stop get out the vote efforts.
About Congressman Moore, Owen writes, "Her silence seems like tacit approval of the Republican voter suppression that took place in her district." Patrick at Badger Blogger recorded the paranoia of one of the Milwaukee 5's mothers. He also has a poll running of what you think the outcome will be.
"Outside Operatives Blamed in Tire Case"
Charlie's Show Prep #23
January 10, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #22
TAM survived Charlie's blogroll remodeling. I hope my assistance with show prep is part of the reason. Here's some stories for today's show:
All praise Subject to Change. The clown prince of the Badger Blogosphere wiggled his way onto Charlie Sykes' (no, I will not call him the "Blogfather") blogroll.
January 09, 2006
The Journal Sentinel's Coward
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane is a coward. I said that on Charlie Sykes' show today, and I write it here on this weblog. Kane is a coward for bashing a "newly popular right-wing blogger" without having the guts to mention Jessica McBride's name or her weblog (but self-promoted his own weblog). He saved that mention for his weblog. In his article Kane then accused McBride of "changing her spots" by embracing conservative alternative media when she supposedly used to bash it. He goes farther in his weblog post writing, "today's Jessica McBride is decidely different in political attitudes than the woman I used to talk to regularly in the Journal Sentinel newsroom." No evidence, unlike the e-mail demonstrating Kane's callousness. McBride denies Kane's charge and asks for a retraction from the paper.
Kane has demonstrated he's a cynical man. Being quick-thinking he took advantage of all the talk about him in the Badger blogosphere and used his column to promote his weblog. He gave us the bait, and we took it. Racebaiting and thin-skinned Kane is, but he isn't stupid.
"Blogging Gives Everyone a Voice"
January 08, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #21
Here are some stories to help out Charlie Sykes just in case he's a little slow Monday morning:
January 07, 2006
There's buzz about Eugene Kane, the Journal Sentinel's resident race-baiter. Most of it is from his callous exchange involving Jessica McBride. Ask Me Later has instituted the "Kane Watch." How's this for a blast from the past. Back in 2004, Kane sent an e-mail to a reader that partially read:
I live for the day when a bunch of white kids get killed in an accident and the first question from readers is "where were the parents?"
It's almost as bad as calling Mexicans "wetbacks." I put Kane's glaring racism in context.
[via Charlie Sykes]
January 06, 2006
Carnival of the Badger
Nick Schweitzer offers up a cold medicine-influenced Carnival of the Badger.
Spiceblog Looks Down on Webloggers
Journal Sentinel columnists Cary Spivak and Dan Bice trudge through the scores of local political blogs so you don’t have to. Here’s a peek at the good, the not-so-good, the truly offensive or the just sort of interesting.
One final point,we kind of like people to come around and read our blogs! So can you drop the "so you don't have to" line? ;)
Spivak & Bice: we like that you're reading us and (sort of) take us seriously. But you won't win friends in the blogosphere by insulting and talking down to us. We're not your "new media" children. Treat us with respect and do a good job, and we'll do the same. The first thing you could do is put up a blogroll. We like links and traffic. But wait, that would allow Spiceblog readers to "trudge through the scores of local political blogs" thereby eliminating the need to read Spiceblog.
Charlie's Show Prep #20
Here's my helping hand to Charlie Sykes' show:
January 05, 2006
Charlie's Show Prep #19
Ok, I know for sure Charlie will be on-air today. What I'm not sure about is if he'll take advantage of the fine show prep I'm doing for him.
It's good Spivak & Bice joined the blogosphere, but who thought up such an awful name? "Spiceblog?" Belle gives us a "horrendous photoshop job." One can't work miracles with such beauty-challenged subjects.
January 03, 2006
Peggy Noonan Comes to Ripon in February
Her writing is passionate, smart, and moving. Knowing Peggy Noonan was coming to Ripon College next month forced me to quickly try to reserve a space.
"Big Names Coming to Wisconsin"
Charlie's Show Prep #18
If Charlie wanted to he could go all Packers for 3 1/2 hours. He won't run out of callers wanting to either gloat about how it's great Mike Sherman got the axe or how Ted Thompson made the mistake that drove Brett Favre into retirement. And people will want to suggest who the next head coach should be. (My choice is defensive coach Jim Bates.) Just in case he wants some non-Packers material I'll give Charlie a hand:
December 31, 2005
Mob Beating was Crack Deal Gone Bad
So we were lied to the past few days. Monday night's brutal beating of Samuel McClain shocked Milwaukee. Many wondered what was happening to parts of the city. Was she being taken over by barbarians? We now know McClain, father of 12, tried to get crack cocaine then claimed he was being ripped off. Then the beating took place. The victim is hardly innocent. Still, no one deserves the punishment McClain took. Those thugs who kicked and stomped on his head should be locked away for a very long time.
This shows the harm drugs can do to a community. Or does it? Maybe drugs being illegal is the problem If cocaine were legalized gangs wouldn't be selling it on the street. You'd go to your local convenience store or bar to get your fix. Legal cocaine might have prevented the invention of crack. We know for sure its illicit status keeps it in the realm of nasty, brutal people.
I'm not totally on the "legalize drugs" bandwagon, but I'm getting closer. It's like the decades-long approach to Fidel Castro's Cuba: the status quo isn't working. It's time to try something new. The first place we can start is by legalizing marijuana and give it the same status as alcohol. If someone wants to used it to relieve pain, fine. If they just want to get high, that's fine too. The McClain beating demonstrates the need to get drugs off the black market.
December 17, 2005
State Senator Harassed by Hispanic Group
The Hispanic advocacy group Voces de la Frontera went beyond their free speech rights and harassed State Senator Cathy Stepp outside her home last night. Stepp described the obnoxious tactics:
On the evening of Friday, December 16th, a group of people advocating the issuing of drivers’ licenses to non-citizens appeared outside my windows yelling and attempting to intimidate me to vote against Assembly Bill 69. Law enforcement was notified and the group disbanded. This group justifies their actions by claiming they have not had their phone call returned when in reality all constituent calls are returned until callers become belligerent or profane.
"Advocacy Group Harasses Senator Stepp at HOME"
December 16, 2005
People are waiting 90 minutes for sub sandwiches at the newly opened Suburpia in Wauwatosa. Those must be damn good subs.
For my sub cravings I like Jimmy Johns. Their bread has a better crust and the meats have more flavor than Subway's (which aren't bad). Cousins used to have a great warm chicken breast sub. I haven't eaten there in a long time. So I don't know if they still have it. Where do you go for really good subs and sandwiches?
"Customers Come Back for a Sandwich They Remember"
December 15, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #17
Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should talk about on today's show:
UPDATE: It would have been nice of Charlie to let me know he was done for the year. I'm done too. No show prep for Jeff Wagner. Not until he stops doing his John Moschitta impression everytime he gives out telephone numbers. ;-)
CotB Christmas Edition
RealDebateWisconsin put some effort into hosting the Carnival of the Badger. He wrote poetry, and it rhymes!
December 14, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #16
Here's what Charlie Sykes should talk about on his show today:
December 13, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #15
My continuous saga of helping Charlie Sykes prepare for his show continues:
December 12, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #14
After he does his part of WTMJ's "extreme" Packers coverage (what was it before?) here is what Charlie Sykes should talk about on today's show:
December 10, 2005
Carnival of the Badger #17
December 09, 2005
Cut Off from the Rest of the World
Madison police claim they found two sisters who haven't left their house in 20 years:
Madison police found the sisters when they called an ambulance for their 90-year-old mother.
That's one cruel mother.
"Madison Police Find 2 Women Inside Home For 20 Years"
Spivak & Bice Read TAM
Or at least I can tell myself they do. In their latest column they refer to Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling as "radio yappers." If you've read TAM long enough you know they're all "yappers" to me.
P.S. Cary, Dan, if you do read TAM leave a comment. Don't be shy.
Charlie's Show Prep #13
It's time again to help Charlie Sykes with this morning's show:
December 08, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #12
Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should yap about on his show today:
December 07, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #11
Here are some stories for Charlie Sykes' show today:
December 06, 2005
Students, Be Careful About Your Weblogs
Students at Marquette University better be very careful about what they write about campus life, fellow students, and professors. Post the wrong stuff on your weblog and you could be suspended like one dentistry student:
One day, the 22-year-old reported being “full and buzzin’ a little bit from the booze” — one of several blog entries involving his experiences with alcohol.
"Dental Pain at Marquette"
Charlie's Show Prep #10
Here's what Charlie Sykes should talk about on today's show:
December 05, 2005
End the Indexing
Towns in Wisconsin pride themselves on their democratic town meetings. It's there where average citizens gather together to speak out on issues and vote on town priorities. But when it comes to the gas tax the Wisconsin Town Association, the representative of town governments, doesn't believe in taxation with representation. They oppose ending the annual automatic in the state gas tax. Their big gripe is
the distribution of a declining pot of state dollars in the transportation fund will result in who can muster the political power in the legislature to have their transportation project or program funded.
Are these people naive? Government whether in Washington, Madison, or the local town meeting, has always been about people mustering political power.
Here's their real complaint:
[T]he strong potential exists that future budgets will fund
The WTA is turning this into a Milwaukee v. the rest of the state battle. For those of us fighting the automatic gas tax increase it's never been about what region of the state gets road building pork. Our complaint has been about a tax increase that evades all political responsiblity. Every year when the gas tax goes up all the politicians can say, "Don't blame me. I didn't vote for it." We're tired of Wisconsin taxes always going up. We're tired of politicans shrugging their shoulders.
In this fight we're not even calling for a tax cut. All we're asking is that politicians stand accountable if they want the gas tax increased. They must come to the public and make their case for coercing people to pay more at the pump.
Tomorrow, there's an important vote in the State Senate. Then we will know who is accountable government and opposed to taxation without representation, and those who don't mind continuing to kick taxpayers in the posteiors.
[via Wigderson Library & Pub]
Charlie's Show Prep #9
Here's more fodder for Charlie Sykes' show:
December 03, 2005
A BBA Christmas
I just returned from the undisclosed location of the first Badger Blog Alliance Christmas party. Dick Cheney and Karl Rove were both there to personally brief us on how best to conquer Canada.
After the briefing Cheney and Rove were wisked away to continue working on their ultimate plan: to Pave France. (And you thought those rioters were just ticked off Muslims. Ha!) BBA members got into a heated argument over whether Canada was enough of a challenge. Some want another crack at The Corner.
Wisconsinite of the Year
There's the beginnings of a discussion going on at the BBA. Who's your pick?
The Gas Tax Beyond Milwaukee
Conservative talk radio yappers get voters riled up about the annual non-vote increase in the state gas tax in Southeast Wisconsin. This alternative media is rare to non-existent in the rest of the state. Republicans at the state capitol may think the calls they're getting are from radio-listening sheep. Still, the issue plays well with voters beyond the range of Mark Belling's or Charlie Sykes' voices. The Tomah Journal supports Scott Walker's plan to kill the automatic increase and makes a "progressive" (fancy word for liberal) case for it. When you have Lefties glomming onto this you know it's a winning issue. Speaker Gard, Senate Majority Leader Schultz stop running away from this. You're base loves it, and the public loves it.
"Editorial: Candidate is Right - Time to Repeal Automatic Gas Tax"
December 02, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #8
Here's my continuing saga of helping Charlie Sykes have a great radio show:
December 01, 2005
New Carnival of the Badger
Charlie's Show Prep #7
Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should talk about on today's show (no need to mention Speaker John Gard):
Charlie Should Be Jealous
November 30, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #6
Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should talk about on his show today:
November 29, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #5
Here are some stories Charlie Sykes should talk about on his show today:
UPDATE: The Christmas tree erected on Capitol Hill will be called a "Christmas" tree, not a "holiday" tree. Charlie's listeners will defintely react to this.
November 28, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #4
Here's what Charlie Sykes should talk about on his show today:
November 27, 2005
Racine School District Leaks Data
The Racine Unified School District handed out the personal information of about 500 of its employees to financial software firms bidding on work. How this happened no one knows, not even the district. I'm guessing the companies wanted data to demonstrate their products. That's why they invented dummy data.
What's even more galling is the personal data was released back in April. RealDebateWisconsin (who beat the Journal Sentinel by days) writes,
My oh my, how on Earth could they of been so busy back in April to make a mistake this monumentally stupid???? Oh yeah, they were busy scaring the students into getting their parents to the polls to overturn the no vote on their referendum increase.
And the district will soon be asking Racine taxpayers for even more money. I say no more until they fix the mismanagement.
"School District Accidentally Leaks Personal Information of 500 Employees"
Missed Sunday Insight
Silly me got too busy reading news and weblogs that I forgot to watch Sunday Insight. I also forgot to TiVo it. Anyone have a copy they can easily send me a link for. I'd like a copy to save for posterity.
P.S. Was TAM mentioned? Seeing the spike on my Site Meter I think it was.
November 24, 2005
Sunday Insight Preview
Wendy at Boots & Sabers gives us a little taste of the weblog edition of Sunday Insight.
"Owen Takes off his Pajamas..."
November 23, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #3
Here's what Charlie Sykes should talk about on this morning's show:
November 21, 2005
Charlie's Show Prep #1
Charlie Sykes is a busy man with his radio show, tv show, and writing gigs. It's time to give him a hand. Here are some stories I think will be good fodder for this morning's show*:
UPDATE: Bryan Preston compares Bush going to church with Reagan's "Tear down this wall!" speech.
November 19, 2005
Arrested for Weblog Threats
A Jackson, WI man-child was arrested for making threats on his weblog:
On Thursday, Washington County Assistant District Attorney Holly Bunch charged [Anthony] Gregovich with unlawful use of computerized communications systems.
Anyone know the URL to the weblog? Google is letting me down.
"Student Accused of Posting Threatening Message on Web"
November 18, 2005
Carnival of the Badger
Military Matters hosts this week's Carnival of the Badger, all the Wisconsin blogosphere posts you want if you're not sitting in a tree stand this weekend.
November 15, 2005
Wauwatosa Wimp Gives into Race-Baiting
If you're a black man who gets arrested for disorderly conduct by while policemen all you have to do is organize a protest and scream racism. It doesn't matter if you have a track record of calling cops "faggots," threatening to bitch slap a gay legislator, and lets supporters hold racist, "cracker" signs.
Michael McGee acted in an anti-social manner and turned it into a Jesse Jackson shakedown. McGee is a jerk, but he's brilliant. He ending up getting hugged by Wawatosa Mayor Theresa Estness and gets a seat at the table on a race taskforce. Pretty good for sitting in a parking lot late and night then screaming at some scared Blockbuster employees, at least on who happened to be black.
Jessica McBride notes that other Milwaukee personalities couldn't get away with this:
Give me a break. I don't remember the mayor of Milwaukee hugging Mark Belling and calling a task force after his situation. If Scott Walker did this or even Tom Barrett or, God forbid, my husband, the mayor of Wauwatosa wouldn't be meeting with them and hugging them and calling task forces. They'd be ruined.
Shelby Steele has written,
Whites and blacks often play the "other" for each other in this way, each race seeking a bit of redemption and power in the other's shame. And both races live with the permanent anxiety of being held to account for their shames by the other race. So, there is a reflex in both races that reaches for narratives to explain shame away and, thus, disarm the "other."
Mayor Estness' white shame and lack of a backbone let the racist, homophobe Michael McGee become the victim...and the winner.
"Task Force Promised"
"Tosa Mayor Caves"
"Tosa Cops Get No Support from Their Mayor"
November 06, 2005
Milwaukee TV Stations Down
It looks like I'll be missing Desparate Housewives tonight. To any SE Wisconsin readers: as of this moment are you getting channels 4, 6, 9, or 12? I'm getting other Milwaukee stations. I wonder if the problem is with Charter cable. Could it be all these stations have transmitters at the same location and something happened to knock them all out?
UPDATE: About 8:30 things were back to normal. A half hour of DH is better than none. I still don't know if I should blame Charter.
November 04, 2005
Wendy at Boots & Sabers is tempted to have her kids play hooky next week when President Jimmy Carter comes to West Bend, one of the most Republican* cities in the entire United States.
Ah, childhood memories. My first chance to see a President up close was when President George H. W. Bush rode a train through Wisconsin in 1992. My family and I walked the whole two blocks to the railroad tracks hoping he'd stop to say a few words. Other people in town came out with hand-made signs. The train came from the south. We hoped it would slow down. Still it came closer. Closer. It's speed didn't change a bit. The train barreled through town with the President waving from the back. At least it kind of looked like him. It was such a blur they could have put an older staffer out there and we wouldn't have known the difference.
As for a childhood memory about Jimmy Carter: my mother never lets me forget that when Ronald Reagan beat him in 1980 I cried. Yes, I was a Democrat at six-years old. Over the years I've seemed to have grown up. The Democrats haven't.
"Jimmy Carter, Wal Mart, and West Bend"
*Note I didn't say "most conservative." I won't when Washington County's board voted to subsidize a gigantic hunting and fishing shop cum tourist attraction.
October 27, 2005
Carnival of the Badger #11
Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger...
Before embarking on this week's carnival you must, must open this website into another browser. It's required background music. Soon I will be petitioning the government to make it Wisconsin's official manic song. The kids at UW-Madison would love it in between detox sessions.
Dad29 takes on Aurora Health Care for their ads for a new Waukesha County hospital.
Marcus Aurelius, the Badger Blogosphere's resident Roman, gets serious with a look at how fast democracy should be implemented in the Middle East.
Dean opposed Harriet Miers. He got his wish.
Badger Blues gives us a reason why Democrats should stand up and fight.
Representative Frank Lasee wants a TABOR that really limits government spending.*
On the BorderLine highlights the writings of one of its regular posters.
The Electric Company's Paul Noonan gives us a public service announcement: talk radio yappers might not know what they're talking about when it comes to climate change.
RealDebateWisconsin is also in a giving mood and wants to help us with our junk mail.
SNAKE! OOOHH SNAKE!
State Sen. Chuck Chvala might have lots of time to learn the fine elements of the "Badger Badger Badger" song since he might get some jail time by pleading guilty to two felony charges. Steve at No Runny Eggs reports along with a shot at "Mr. Plea Bargain" E. Michael McCann.
Leaning Blue reports a Hurricane Katrina refugee died in a Red Cross shelter in Milwaukee. It may have been a drug overdose, but the MSM isn't reporting it.
Another item you won't find in the MSM is a proposed rule change at the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs. Bill Christofferson provides some reporting on a bureaurcratic power play.
Random10 listened to John Edwards and found his ideas on fighting poverty lacking.
Robbie Barton found a CNN "story" about President Bush's poll numbers that didn't say anything.
Patrick the Badger Blogger notes that 2,000 American soldiers have died in Iraq for a reason. A good reason.
Bob, the Madison Freedom Fighter [I think Mad City is a lost cause. --ed] offers Cindy Sheehan some practical advice to protect our troops in Iraq.
Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger...
"To the moon, Alice!" From Sheboygan? Sounds like a Halloween prank, but tee bee points out the state is taking the idea seriously.
Aaron at Subject to Change is looking for a cause "to take on the 'evildoers.'" The weirder the better. How about helping me with the "Badger Badger Badger" song? He's also going to have the good candy for Halloween.
STB sees the bad, tacky, ugly trend of Holloween displays. They're scarier than a snake.
SNAKE! OOOHH SNAKE!
Next week, Patrick hosts the CoB. As for me...
Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger...
*Oops. Rep. Lasee's submission slipped through the cracks. It's now been added.
CoB this Evening
Expect the Carnival of the Badger this evening. While I'm working today I'll try to think of some special touches for the plethora of submissions I received.
October 26, 2005
"Jesus Was a Black Man"
Milwaukee has its share of wacky politicians. None wackier than Alderman Michael McGee. The Journal Sentinel's Spivak & Bice report on their attempt at getting McGee's side of the story on what transpired on a recent bus trip to Washington, D.C.
"Spinning Statements Can Be Hard to Follow"
October 25, 2005
Need Posts Now!
I'm hosting this week's Carnival of the Badger. Send me your posts or I'll have a very small carnival. They're due by Wednesday at 8 pm. E-mail them to sean--at--theamericanmind--dot--com or use this carnival submission form.
October 21, 2005
Carnival of the Badger: Pirate Edition
Subject to Change hosts the Carnival of the Badger #10.
WARNING!!! TAM will be hosting next week's carnival. I promise no pirates, but there will probably be something just as annoying. There's a certain song in my head that would fit perfectly.
Praise to Feingold
The Coburn Amendment would have dropped the funding for needless Alaska bridges and pay to rebuild a Louisiana bridge damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Alaska's senior Senator Ted Stevens threatened to resign from the Senate if the amendment passed. Well, we're still stuck with Stevens and his porkbarrel ways because the amendment died 82-15. Praise has to go to Sen. Russ Feingold for voting for the measure. Russ isn't known for getting the Badger State pork. He's been too busy limited Americans' right to free speech and thinking about running for President. Still, Feingold voted the right way.
"Coburn Loses Battle of Bridges"
October 19, 2005
Jib's ID Pop Quiz
Jib noticed Wisconsin has a strange set of priorities when it comes to needing identification.
"Identification in Wisconsin"
Vrakas Wins in Waukesha
Dan Vrakas beat Jim Dwyer Waukesha County Executive race. Vrakas with over 67% of the vote proved that Waukesha County is solidly conservative and Republican.
"Vrakas to Lead Waukesha County"
October 17, 2005
Missing Out on a Winning Issue
The Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR) is a rare issue that garners such wide-spread support across Wisconsin. In a just-released Wisconsin Policy Research Institute poll the only groups that don't have a majority supporting TABOR are liberals and blacks. A majority of people in the People's Republic of Madison back limiting increased in state and local government spending. It seems like a winning issue, right? Politicians should be pushing this issue that has little political costs, right? Well, what is State Senator Glenn Grothman's most recent accomplishment? He's the man who whupped Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer because she wasn't doing much for TABOR. TABOR is Grothman's issue. Grothman put pressure on Gov. Jim "Needles" Doyle to allow fireworks to be launched near Summerfest.
The Wisconsin GOP has become very distant to voters, especially conservatives. Instead of advancing TABOR they've shrunk from the fight to limit government spending. The screams of local officials who don't want to control spending have more weight than the plight of taxpayers tired of paying more for government.
"Wisconsin Residents Favor Constitutional Amendment to Limit State and Local Spending" [PDF]
October 16, 2005
Citizens for Responsible Government released a press release beating up on the Journal Sentinel's Spivak & Bice. It's titled "Spivak-stein & Bice-stein" Funny? No. Too cleaver by half but not anti-semitic. It's insulting the reporters so being "so smart" they're attacking government watchdogs instead of rooting out government waste that could reduce taxes.
"Jim Sees Einstein As Just A Jew, Not A Brilliant Physicist"
Kids Killed in Bus Accident
A bus full of Chippewa Falls high school students and chaperones coming back from a band competition hit a semi. Twin Cities' WCCO has coverage.
"Tragedy for Chippewa Falls"
October 13, 2005
Carnival of the Badger #9
Badger Blues hosts this week's collection of Badger State posts.
City-Wide Wi-Fi for Milwaukee
A company wants to beat Philadelphia and San Francisco and bath Milwaukee in Wi-fi:
A Milwaukee firm is leading an effort to create a citywide wireless computer network, a $20 million-plus initiative that could leapfrog the city to the front of a national push to create such systems, city officials said Wednesday.
It won't be free like Google's offering in San Fran. Midwest Fiber Networks would sell access to other companies. If they use similar technology I use in my home I wonder how effective it will be getting a signal inside buildings. Walking around outside with a notebook or wireless PDA will be no trouble. Signals from street lights into homes should be fine, but getting them into commerical and apartment buildings may be difficult. Something like Verizon Wireless' wireless broadband--with faster speeds and much lower costs--may be a better long-term solution. I'm skeptical about how much it will help Milwaukee's economic competitiveness. Always on internet access will be the norm someday. Sooner is better than later. Google thinks it's a good idea to cover a city, and those guys are a lot smarter (and richer) than me. The plan won't cost the City of Milwaukee anything with the possiblity to bringing in more competition to the broadband ISP market, so I say "let's go!" Mayor Barrett and the City Council better not mess this up.
"Wi-Fi Plan May Give City a Digital Edge"
October 11, 2005
Sen. Risser is a Boob
Charlie Sykes talked about this story today. State Sen. Fred Risser wants to make it a crime for people to express their concerns to publicly breastfeeding mothers. Some mothers like Michelle Morgan can't accept the fact that some people don't approve of what she does:
Michelle Morgan said she has run into problems trying to breast-feed her son, Ian, in public.
Even though public breastfeeding is legal it doesn't mean every public place is appropriate. There is such a thing as good manners. But if you go up to a mother and express your concerns (no threats or any physical) you could be slapped with a $200 fine.
In Risser's and Morgan's world it's not good enough to allow mother to breastfeed their children in public. They also require the public to sacrifice its free speech rights. Whatever happened to the Left's love of tolerance and free speech? It went out the door so people aren't offended or when some pet issue like campaign finance comes up.
"Harassing Breast-Feeding Mothers Could Lead To Fines"
September 30, 2005
Badger Times 7
RealDebateWisconsin hosts this week's Carnival of the Badger.
September 27, 2005
Wining and Dining
Gov. Jim "Needles" Doyle, last week, spent about $400 wining and dining reporters. He got a pass until Jessica McBribe pointed out the media double standard in coverage of him and Scott Walker. I had no problem with Doyle's picnic or Walker's ticket giveaway. I think it's preposterous for reporters to be "paid off" with zoo tickets or some wine and chicken breasts. Common sense has to come in instead of the ethical straight jacket local media is putting themselves in. It's the job of editors, publishers, and ultimately, readers to hold reporters accountable. I refuse to accept a reporter's objectivity can be so easily bought off.
"Mainstream Media Tougher on Walker than His Opponents"
September 16, 2005
Carnival of the Badger #5
Letters in Bottles hosts this week's tiny Carnival of the Badger. Come one guys, the thing is supposed to get bigger.
September 07, 2005
Former ESPN reporter Adrian Karsten hanged himself in his Green Lake garage. He was to begin serving time for not filing tax returns.
According to court records, Karsten made more than $600,000 while reporting for ESPN between 1999 and 2002. He did not file tax returns for any of those years and owed the IRS approximately $167,000.
It's pure spectulation but gambling and/or drugs must have been involved. Karsten didn't have the money to pay the government and he didn't think he could survive prison so he gave up. Too sad.
"Ex-ESPN Reporter Karsten Found Hanged at His Home"
August 25, 2005
Dodging the Subject
Scott Walker misses the point in having the state GOP apologize to Schenks for practically accusing their son on vote fraud. He tries to push the onus onto the Journal Sentinel when he writes to Charlie Sykes:
That's a discussion for another day. The state GOP should apologize simply because it's the right thing to do. They got it wrong; they have to make amends. Walker, like the state Democrats, tries to use this event to gain political advantage. That's cynical and unclassy.
One more thing, Walker didn't need to stick his nose in this. He didn't accuse anyone specifically of vote fraud. I wonder if the state GOP was pressuring him to say something.
"Speaking of Apologies"
August 24, 2005
James Widgerson wants your Wisconsin posts for the next Carnival of the Badger.
August 23, 2005
Party Bickering Over Vote Fraud
The Wisconsin Democratic Party had a chance to look classy and dignified while continuing the GOP's embarassment for going overboard on their recent vote fraud accusations. Joe Wineke could have simply asked, not "demanded," that the GOP apologize to Stuart, Gayle, and Joseph Schenk for indirectly accusing Joseph of double voting last November. Party chairman Rick Graber, Rep. Jeff Stone, and Sen. Joe Leibham held their press conference outside the Schenk's house. We learned investigators found no evidence from the GOP that double voting occured. Wineke then tries to score political points from the GOP's failed attempt to score points of their own:
Put simply, Republicans used the Schenk family as pawns to further their own political agenda. What the Republican Party did was wrong and violates any basic notion of common decency. Graber, Stone, and Leibham should immediately apologize to Joseph Schenk and his family for these outrageous allegations.
The guy doesn't know what it means to take the high road.
The GOP better issue their apology and soon. They publically embarassed a family that was minding its own business.
Then there's the Journal Sentinel editorial board. Original thought isn't wanted when the editorialist just rewords a Democratic press release. The writer did think he was cleaver for using "besmirched" twice. He also exposed the fact that the board is full of knee-jerk Democrats when he wrote,
It was wrong to have besmirched his name for the sake of political gain: namely, adoption of a measure that would tighten voter ID requirements so much that Wisconsin would boast the most rigid rules in the nation. Tighter rules tend to help the GOP by suppressing Democratic votes.
Wow! Quite the accusation. Nothing to back it up. The most recent version of voter ID Gov. Jim "Needles" Doyle vetoed exempted many of the elderly Doyle claimed he was protecting. The editorial board must think voter ID could become law. They're unleashing the scare tactics along with keeping their heads buried in the sand.
"State GOP Should Apologize"
Talking about Talk Star
Charlie Sykes challenged Wisconsin webloggers to comment on Tim Cuprisin finally getting around to writing about how Kossites won WISN's talk show host contest. He called me out by name. Hey, Charlie, I had to get up early this morning. My vacation's over. It was either commenting on Milwaukee's Talk Star or covering some real news like how the Wisconsin GOP looked like fools.
Now on to Cuprisin's story. He immediately decides to sound "cool" by using the internet-only verb "freep." Odd since a Kossite got other Kossites to give Nicole Devin her victory. A Free Republic swarm might have canceled out the Kossites. It's interesting Cuprisin brought up Free Republic. Was it his way of deflecting the successful liberal campaign since it could be said conservatives stuff ballot boxes too? Sounds like an "everybody does it" argument.
Next, Cuprisin wrote,
Now some conservative talk radio listeners, egged on by conservative blogs and radio talkers, are suggesting that the Internet competition to pick the new morning host for WISN-AM (1130) was freeped by the lefty dailykos.com.
He mentions talk radio yappers by name. He also mentions the Kossite who organized the successful campaign by URL. Who were the conservative weblogs griping? What, the Right side of the blogosphere doesn't deserve a link? Gibbsville Unincorporated appears to be the first conservative weblog to cry foul. It took me a whole weekend to toss in my two-cents.
What I find most interesting about Cuprisin's story is the comments from Jerry Bott WISN programming director. First, he pooh-poohs the idea the Kossites gave Nicole Devin her new job calling such speculation "ignorance." Thanks, Jerry. This "ignorant" WISN fan knows you would need a lot of intestinal fortitude to admit your voting process was open to an organized on-line campaign (even though I believe it was in violation of the spirit of the contest). It's hard to admit you, as old media, got played by the new.
Bott then tells Cuprisin something astounding:
I've never asked Nicole about her political persuasion. Nor do I think it's particularly relevant because our new morning show will almost never address politics.
Huh? Maybe Bott didn't need to ask Devin about her politics because it was so pronounced. But the new morning show won't be about politics? This is WISN, Milwaukee's home for conservative yapping. It's the home to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Belling. Politics is in WISN's DNA. It's what differentiated them from the, then, uber-bland, Gordon Hinkley talk at WTMJ. Their new morning show will be still-born, they'll end up airing Bill Bennett's syndicated morning show, and Devin will be a liberal yapper somewhere else.
The biggest reason I didn't immediately rip this story was it's old news to me. Kossites winning Milwaukee's Talkstar is so last week. Cuprisin is writing about media (radio and television) at 20th Century speed. The guy needs a weblog. But that would require him to do more work than the two or three short columns a week he currently does.
Wendy also takes Charlie's bait and rips WISN:
The real outrage though, is that whoever made the decision to conduct this stupid contest has so little respect for WISN’s listeners that they would trust this important position to an amateur. I like to think that when a radio station has an opening, they would really consider who their listeners are, what the listeners would like to hear, then go out and find a professional who will satisfy listeners and help make money for the station. Sure, Nicole may be part of a team of hosts on the morning show. But still, she is going to be there every day. Do real WISN listeners want that person? Maybe they do. I don’t know. But it’s not MY job to do that research. It’s WISN’s job. And they blew it.
Hey, I didn't listen to WISN's morning show before the contest, and I'm pretty sure I won't now.
"Contest May Not be Clear of 'Freep'"
No Evidence of Double Voting Found
The Wisconsin Republican Party was wrong when they claimed nine people voted in multiple cities last November. U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic's investigation found "found assorted clerical errors and other inconsistencies, but no fraud." While the GOP came up empty Biskupic said, "[T]here still is plenty of evidence of double voting and the like."
The state GOP has egg on their faces. They should apologize to Stuart and Gayle Schenk and their son Joseph. Earlier this month the party held a press conference in front of their house. Next time they have evidence they should let the professional investigators check it out before blabbing to the press.
"Nothing Points to Fraud in 9 Double Voting Cases"
August 20, 2005
Return of Crypto
Cryptosporidium has hit a waterpark in New York State:
Gastrointestinal illness possibly stemming from a state-run water playground has sickened more than 700 people, mostly children and teenagers, the state Health Department said Thursday.
In 1993 an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Milwaukee got 403,000 people sick and killed over 100. The event became a source of academic research. It also was the largest outbreak of its kind "ever recorded in the developed world." Two years after the outbreak AIDS patients were still infected. The funny thing--and not in a good way--was then-Mayor John Norquist didn't fire anyone. No one was held accountable.
At least The Onion found a way to make us smile while making a little money.
"10 Years Ago, Crypto Gripped the City"
UPDATE: CNN reports, "Nearly 1,800 people from 20 New York counties have reported symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness."
August 18, 2005
We're Probably as Bad as the Kossites
The Badger Blog Alliance is MKE's blog of the week with "more than half the votes." Thank you, thank you, thank you. No prizes and definitely no $50,000/year contracts. Still it feels good.
August 17, 2005
Vote for the BBA
Today is your last chance to make the Badger Blog Alliance MKE's Blog of the Week. So stop reading TAM and vote, vote, vote!
August 16, 2005
In a few hours Lazer 103 will die and 1029 The Hog will be born. The format will probably be a wider breadth of rock instead with less emphasis on the lame excuses for rock acts like Staind and [fill-in-the-blank] faux punk. It will probably be similar to 97.3 The Brew. The change is good even though I don't listen to music on the radio anymore, but, my god, can they possibly think up worse names? "The Hog?" "The Brew?" Next, we'll have to endure "The Brat" or "The Cheese."
"Lazer 103 to Change Music Format"
Brutal Fruit Bonked
Brutal Fruit died before it was born:
Miller's drink, Brutal Fruit, didn't pan out with consumers when it was tested this spring and summer in three cities: Richmond, Va., Tampa, Fla., and Seattle, said Miller spokesman Peter Marino.
This is a company that recently abandoned such "malternatives" as Skyy Blue and Jack Daniel's Original Hard Cola. I thought the product's name was bad enough. I guess test marketing showed there was more distaste than just the name.
"Miller Abandons Niche Drink"
August 15, 2005
With Milwaukee getting its first local liberal talk radio yapper since...hmm...well.... Was Jay Marvin [and here] a liberal or just nuts? From what I remember his approach seemed to involve being a buffoon. Nicole Devin will be the newest edition to the local airwaves. I give her a year. By then the MSM glow will have worn off and WISN will notice they can get better ratings with Bill Bennett's syndicated morning radio show. Clear Channel will eat up the contract and Devin will go to another market or even national if Air America survives. That's assuming Devin has any talent. (Yes, liberals can and do have talent, or else I wouldn't have any music or comedy to be entertained with.) I didn't listen to her at all during the contest so I don't know if she's a whiny, I'm-a-victim, capitalism-is-evil Lefty or one like The New Republic's Peter Beinart (but with a personality). Taking on Wisconsin's conservative blogosphere wouldn't hurt. *wink* *wink*
"The Blogosphere Manufactures a Liberal Talk Radio Host in Milwaukee"
A Liberal Talkstar is Born
Kossites and Lefties across the nation are preening over getting a liberal on conservative Milwaukee talk radio. Charlie Sykes was talking about it this morning. I know he was eating up the fact that his talk radio competition looks like fools for turning talent selection over to anyone with internet access. But Charlie "Mr. Mock Zero Tolerance" Sykes seems to think that if there's nothing in the rules it's ok. Lefties didn't violate any laws in voting for Nicole Devin, but they did break the spirit of the contest. I'm pretty sure if you ask WISN programming director Jerry Bott if he wanted the opinion of a weblogger in Seattle or Miami, he'd say, "no." But that's what happened. The point was to have open auditions (I entered the lottery but didn't try out) and local listeners pick the winner. No lawyer was needed to pour through the voting rules to understand that spirit. This wasn't "fraud" in the same sense as what happened in Milwaukee last November. But some Lefities feel that talk radio is so important they need to have a voice of their own. They can either take loans from non-profit groups or organize a national campaign for a show most will never listen to.
Yes, much of the blame can be put on him for not thinking of the possibility of an organized national campaign. Tech measures could have been installed to limit this.
I'm not whining about who won. I didn't listen to any of the contestants and didn't vote. I have no horse in this race. Maybe Nicole Devin is interesting even though she's a liberal--not that there's anything wrong with that. Hell, some of my best friends are liberal. Something interesting on morning radio would be nice. WTMJ is informative but bland. Lazer 103 is funny but has little substance. Maybe Ms. Devin can find an entertaining, informative combination.
P.S. Charlie, I can listen to you and call in while on vacation. They're not mutually exclusive. I did sleep in if you want proof I'm taking it easy.
"A Vast Left Wing Conspiracy?"
"Fraud in the Milwaukee Talkstar Competition"
August 11, 2005
Bill Christofferson is happy the Journal Sentinel editorial board still doesn't support voter photo ID. Fine, that's not the interesting part of his post. It's he calls the Journal Sentinel his "favorite Milwaukee daily newspaper." Huh? It's the only Milwaukee daily newspaper. Am I missing something? Where's that other newspaper that's doing a lousy job as competition for the Journal Sentinel?
August 10, 2005
Greg Borowski filed his full story on the Wisconsin GOP's allegations that people voted in more than one city in November 2004. [See my previous post.] The party stated people with similar names and birthdates voted in Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison, and Minneapolis. Other than that they didn't say much other than the location of the press conference--in front of a Milwaukee condo--was significant. Borowski reports,
While the party did not release names or addresses, the city lists three voters at the house where the news conference took place: Stuart and Gayle Schenk and their son Joseph, who moved to Chicago last August.
Obviously the GOP didn't want to provoke a libel suit by naming names. Assuming they are accusing Joseph Schenk of voting twice it's possible someone fraudulently voted in Joseph's name in Milwaukee as well as Chicago. The U.S. District attorney said over 100 people voted fraudulently. I wouldn't be shocked if Joseph Schenk was the victim of identity theft. Since Wisconsin has no requirement to show a photo ID before registering I could have registered to vote as him. So, Bill Christofferson is wrong. Voter ID would have helped protect Joseph Schenk's franchise.
"9 May Have Voted in 2 Cities"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
August 09, 2005
Voter Fraud Crosses State Lines
At a press conference today the Republican Party of Wisconsin furnished evidence that people double voted in the 2004 election:
The investigation indicates that voter fraud has extended into neighboring states. The preliminary results show people recorded as voting both in Milwaukee and in the city to which they filed a change of address. Four people are recorded as voting in both Milwaukee and Chicago, two people are recorded as voting in both Milwaukee and Minneapolis and three people are recorded as voting in both Milwaukee and Madison. It was conducted by comparing the City of Milwaukee Voter History List for November 2004 with the National Change of Address List from the US Postal Service and the voter history lists for Chicago, Minneapolis and Madison. RPW will share the information with the US Attorney’s office and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office as part of their ongoing investigation into voter fraud in the November ‘04 elections.
The party timed this announcement with the GOP-controlled legislature sending a photo ID bill to Gov. Jim "Needles" Doyle for his signature or veto.
UPDATE: Bill Christofferson immediately replies,
Quick: What will a photo ID to do prevent people from voting in two states?
Therefore voter ID shouldn't be enacted. This passes for logical thought? If you've read TAM's coverage of the voter fraud issue you know photo ID is only a start. Same-day registration has to end too. Like anything in politics small steps take you to the goal.
"No Connection Between Problem, 'Solution'"
UPDATE: Kevin at Lakeshore Laments writes,
Expect the typical response from the usual suspects. Doyle will veto it again. Xoff will call us all right-wingers, racists, vote suppressionists, and charge the GOP with insanity (repeating the same action over and over again expecting a different result). DPW will call the State GOP “scare mongers”. (Apparently they haven’t been reading their own press releases on Social Security reform lately)
August 07, 2005
What I learned at the Wisconsin State Fair:
Mass transit can occasionally be useful.
Eating lots of this will make you fat:
Paul Hornung is fat:
This segway-riding dude was a jerk. I just want him to stop for another picture:
The Badger Blog Alliance can do some damage at a micro brew tent:
Wisconsin webloggers and readers know how to have a good time:
Steve the rabid reader and commenter and Mary Eileen of Stand in the Trenches who also left early to write the first post.
Professor John McAdams of Marquette Warrior.
August 06, 2005
Webloggers Invade State Fair Sunday
Tomorrow is suppose to be a beautiful day. Come to the Wisconsin State Fair for food, food on a stick, food you'll be ashamed to have eaten the next morning, cream puffs, and to meet Wisconsin webloggers and weblog readers. The fun will be at the Micro Brew Tent starting at 1:00 p.m. Scheduled webloggers include Jib, Professor John McAdams, and yours truly who will be wearing his Contra Cafe t-shirt. And please heed Owen's advice, "Be sure to drop by and get your favorite blogger drunk!"
August 04, 2005
Charlie and I Need to Talk
Charlie Sykes' latest column covers the effect webloggers are having on Wisconsin politics. We haven't garnered a Dan Rather yet, but we're having an impact. In his list of recommended weblogs he's missing one very important weblog. Hmm. I wonder if Charlie didn't like the slight criticism I gave him on his libel lawsuit?*
*Now let me yank my tongue out of my cheek.
BBA Invades State Fair
Attention all webloggers and weblog readers within driving distance of the Wisconsin State Fair. Through the power of this new-fangled internets technology the Badger Blog Alliance has instantly organized a first-ever BBA meet-and-greet. On Sunday, 08.07 at 1:00 p.m. the BBA will be taking over Benno's Microbrew Tent. It should be a perfect place for us to meet:
[F]eaturing Wisconsin microbrews in 30-plus flavors, six TVs to watch your favorite sporting event and live music next door at the US Cellular International Amphitheater.
Should our conversation get too focused on the Packers, politics, or what kind of gun it took to take down this moose you can drink yourself silly with some of Wisconsin's best microbrews (I'm hoping for New Glarus Brewery's Spotted Cow) or wander off, disavow our existence, and listen to some music. It's the state fair so bring your kids, or just stop and say "hi." This isn't anything fancy. Just a nice way to names and faces together...at least until the beer starts really flowing.
WARNING: There will be cameras there. Cameras, beer, and cream puffs: oooh, scary combination.
August 03, 2005
Finley's Wacky Idea
When Dan Finley decided to leave his Waukesha County County Executive job to take over the Milwaukee Public Museum he ended any near-term political aspirations. He was rumored to one day run for governor, but the rise of Scott Walker snuffed his chance of being the Republican who could claim Milwaukee's vote-rich suburbs. Now, that that pressure is gone, Finley has gotten goofy by proposing a regional cultural district to run the museum as well as other cash-strapped venues like the zoo, the Mitchell Park Domes, and the Marcus Center.
What an astounding idea! Let's combine a bunch of financially unstable entities and see what kind of synergy can be squeezed out of them. That has success written all over it. Where was Finley during the halcyon dot-com days? He probably thought the Excite/@Home merger was brilliant. Finley must have standing a little too close to the microwave. I think a few neurons got fried.
Finley can claim all he wants that a cultural district doesn't equal a tax, but he used Miller Park as an example of what he envisions. Bad example since the stadium district taxes a five-county region to pay for the ballpark. Plus, how could any cultural district have any power if didn't have a source of financing? Government doesn't work like that. The purse is all-powerful. Finley isn't stupid, he knows that. Hasn't Southeast Wisconsin been taxed enough?
Finley and those that run the troubled attractions in the area have a solution that would allow people from the entire region to provide funding: offer something of value. That means places like the Domes and the public museum have to draw interest from the regional community. They'll have to do a better job marketing and improving their facilities. Marketing and cost-control have to be a priority. People need to know what's available and think they're getting something for a good price. Maybe something should be closed? That's how private businesses work. What is required is creativity, ingenuity, and hard work.
Every summer we witness a great example of a non-profit providing so much value it draws in almost 1 million people: Summerfest. Paying for bands, employees, food, beer, and rent costs tons. On top of that they advertise and give away bushels of tickets. The result of all that savy was $10 million in revenue in 11 days. They're in the black. A lot could be learned from the Big Gig.
"Finley Urges New Cultural District"
"A Culture Tax"
July 27, 2005
When you combine a slow, summer news cycle with an election next year you get a crazy stunt like sending an opponent 1400 hyperdermic needles. Elizabeth Kastner was a moron for keep them for the sole purpose of sending them to Assembly Speaker John Gard, but Gov. Jim Doyle's office was even more moronic to assisting. This incident even garnered a police report.
Is it too much to ask that our governor have a maturity level that nips inappropriate and incivil antics in the bud – even if they come from supporters of his? I’d like to think it is not. But instead of stopping this dangerous and downright tacky tantrum in its tracks, Governor Doyle has placed his imprimatur on it and dispatched his staff to participate in it and even defend it. That action demeans the office of Governor and speaks volumes about what a petty, classless boor Jim Doyle the person is.
Kevin gives us a dossier on "Crazy" Kastner.
This is going to be one long governor's election. Woe is us.
David Clarke: Flake
Thank god David Clarke never became Milwaukee mayor. Sure, the man makes some good conservative statements, but the guy has a lousy management style. It sure looks like Clarke retaliated against Deputy Michael Schuh for his critical comments of the sheriff in a union newsletter. Clarke pretty much admitted it when he told reporters,
One cannot expect, internally, that if they make some criticism against the sheriff that they will never be reassigned, that they will be immune from accountability.
Then there's Schuh's new assignment:
His sweeping list of duties includes collaborating with elected officials to find money for a "comprehensive strategy to restore order."
Clarke whipped his new plan together last Friday, the same day Schuh's criticism was published. What timing!
Clarke's statements to Charlie Sykes and other talk radio yappers made him a potential political rising star. We're finding out he's just a vindictive blowhard.
"Sheriff Defends Deputy's Move"
July 25, 2005
Sykes' Libel Case
My fellow Wisconsin webloggers haven't let me down in talking about Robert Miranda's libel case against Charlie Sykes. James Widerson recalls Sykes contacting him to see if he remembered Robert Miranda attending a 1991 pro-war rally at UWM. Owen at Boots & Sabers reminds me Sykes only had the offending post on his weblog for a few hours. He took it down, but the post could still be accessible if you knew where to look. Sykes has retracted his original reporting. That may lead to a settlement before the trial starts Tuesday.
I'm a fan of Sykes and have been on his radio show. I have a bias. But still, what Sykes has done is commendable. He posted a story in good faith and when he discovered it was flawed he stepped back from it. Was he perfect in his retraction? No. It feels very defensive to issue a full-blown correction just before a libel trial is set to begin. I haven't heard him mention his correction on his radio show. I would hope he'd do that if he hasn't already. However, Sykes' correction is far different from one in the Journal Sentinel. With the newspaper you have to dig around to the corrections section (where is it anyway?). Sykes treated his correction just like any weblog post. As Owen writes,
The duty of any good blogger is to correct that information in a public way as soon as he or she knows that it is false. But even if the information is corrected, the original incorrect information can remain on the web forever.
"Libel Suit Against Sykes"
As an aside, Miranda originally claimed he wasn't in Milwaukee at the time of the 1991 rally. When pressed by Milwaukee Magazine he said, "I don’t know how I can prove where I was."
July 20, 2005
Missing Wisconsin Woman
I post this e-mail alert as a favor to my sometimes-weblogging partner Shawn:
Tracey Marie Breure, age 16, was last seen on Saturday, July 16th, 2005 after leaving work at the Super-Valu in Osceola, WI.
Don't worry. TAM won't become Natalie Holloway North.
UPDATE: Tracey is safe. The U.S. Border Patrol stopped her when she tried to cross into Canada. Shawn and I would both agree, "Praise God."
July 19, 2005
The Speed of Justice
January 9, 2006. That's when Democratic operatives accused of vandalizing Republican vans on Election Day 2004 will stand trial. That's fourteen months. My what a break-neck pace E. Michael McCann's office takes on cases embarassing to the Democratic Party.
Connecting the Dots
Four administrators at UW-Milwaukee resigned and are or will be paid over $600,000. And UW System president Kevin Reilly has the gall to claim the system can't take any more budget cuts. Reilly better get his costs under control before he asks taxpayers for more money.
"UW System Can't Take More Cuts, Chief Says"
UPDATE: State Representative Rob Kreibich is working on legislation that would end paid leave and backup jobs for university administrators. He told the Journal Sentinel, "Because of backup jobs, you end up paying six-figure salaries for administrators who don't work out."
"Lawmaker Seeks Ban on UW Resignation Payoffs"
July 12, 2005
NAACP Honors Radical Bush Hater
The NAACP National Convention in Milwaukee gives Brew City some nice national exposure. Things have gotten interesting now that the organization honored Harry Belafonte with the NAACP Chairman's Living Legend Award.
NAACP chairman Julian Bond praised Mr. "Banana Boat Song" saying, "You have been an outspoken advocate for human rights here and abroad."
Belafonte certainly has been "outspoken." In 2002, Belafonte told a San Diego radio audience:
There's an old saying in the days of slavery. There are those slaves on the plantation and there were those slaves who lived in the big house. You got the privilege of living in the house to serve the master. Colin Powell was permitted to come into the house of the master.
Mr. "Banana Boat Song" had even more contempt for Condi Rice. As Clarence Page (no conservative) wrote:
He repeated his remarks in later interviews including CNN's "Larry King Live," where Belafonte said he thought Rice was worse than Powell because he had not heard from Rice "even the suggestion" of the more agreeable thoughts he had heard from Powell.
Belafonte hasn't stopped with his attacks on the Bush administration:
For 30 pieces of silver (Bush) has corrupted so many of our black church leaders.
Belafonte urged the NAACP to crank up the "radicalness." Then he'll be happy knowing the organization will shakedown "private companies as part of its economic agenda, seeking reparations from corporations with historical ties to slavery and boycotting companies that refuse to participate in its annual business diversity report card." It doesn't matter that all the slaves and all the slave masters are dead. There's money and power at stake. Hey, Jesse Jackson has made a living from this. Why should he be the only person having all the "fun?"
"The Call Goes Out: Do More"
July 05, 2005
A Nice Cafe
If you're in the West Bend, WI area check out St. Somewhere Cafe. There's plenty of light, the coffee drinks are good (just don't put too much sugar in your latte), and the Wi-Fi is free. I just wish I had more juice in my notebook's battery.
July 04, 2005
Earth Day Founder Dies
Sen. Gaylord Nelson, creator of the pagan holiday Earth Day, died at his Maryland home.
"Gaylord Nelson: Earth Day Founder was a Voice Crying out for the Wilderness"
"Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson Dead at 89"
June 30, 2005
Obey Declares Victory...for the Bad Guys
Rep. David Obey said Iraq is a lost cause. "There will be no victory in Iraq. The question is whether there is some way of salvaging the situation," he told a newspaper.
Wow. In just a few weeks allied forces kicked Saddam from power. A few months later he was captured. Now, Iraq is on the path to a free, stable government. I wonder what Obey would consider victory? I also wonder what he would have said about the carnage a Normandy if he was a Congressman during WWII?
Father Wild is a Liar
The votes are in and Marquette will remain the Golden Eagles. I love the audacity of MU president Father Robert Wild when he said (presumably with a straight face), "We had an honest, brokered process that led us back to Golden Eagles."
Hmm. The process involved denying MU skateholders the Warriors option. Judging from Mark Belling's poll that's the name most people wanted. Wild denied voters that choice because he knew Warriors would win. And we can't have a liberal Catholic university admit they were wrong.
One more thing: MU alumni Wayne Sanders is a complete fool. He's the trustee who started the debate by offering MU $1 million dollars to bring back Warriors. Wow, he really fought for his cause.
Professor McAdams has plenty of good thoughts.
"Much Ado for Nothing at MU"
June 28, 2005
Milwaukee Needs More Money for Elections
The City of Milwaukee examined its voting procedures and came to a typically liberal conclusion: we need more money. How about not bothering with the $41 million for PabstCity developers and using that for election reform--a proper city function?
But seriously how should we trust any Milwaukee elections when we found out "The election office had no written procedures for running the election." They were winging it. Because of this fact I discount soon-to-be new Election Commission Sue Edman when she said, "I don't see the problems as being widespread. No. There isn't widespread fraud. Not at all." She has no idea. None at all.
"City Election Fixes Rely on Getting Aid"
June 26, 2005
Walker on the Blogroll
With permalinks in place Scott Walker's weblog can now be safely added to the TAM blogroll.
Now, what does he think about the Kelo decision?
June 23, 2005
Vote Fraud Charges Filed
The first charges have been filed in Milwaukee's voter fraud scandal:
A Milwaukee Police Department sweep of election records led to federal charges Wednesday against three voters accused of casting improper ballots in November.
Thankfully these were federal charges so Milwaukee District Attorney E. Michael "Plea Bargain" McCann can't drop them to next to nothing.
"Federal Charges Filed Against Three Voters"
June 22, 2005
Still Not Enough for Racine Schools
Look at the glee in the tax increasers. They really love to spend money.
The Racine school district is already getting ready to ask voters for a tax increase next year.
[School Board Member Randy] Bangs said the board will continue to search for ways to make the district more efficient so that next year, if finances necessitate it, the district will attempt to pass a spending referendum for a minimal amount.
Superintendent Thomas Hicks is already threatening draconian cuts next year if taxpayers don't bend over and take it again.
Racine voters were suckers. They get what they voted for.
"Racine Voters OK Money for Schools"
June 21, 2005
Scaring Their Way to Victory
Racine voters gave into a school board who couldn't say no to controlling spending. A high school band was even sent out to "encourage" voters to vote the "right" way. The scare tactics worked and Racine becomes a bigger tax hell in a tax hell state. Patrick calls them "suckers."
"Racine School Referendum Passes"
June 16, 2005
Wisconsin Net Outage
My mother told me a fiber cable was cut knocking the Badger State off the internet. I have no news story to support that, but I had zero net access this morning--I blamed it on the "high quality" service I get from Charter. If anyone has any details let me know.
June 14, 2005
"Gut Instinct" Isn't Necessarily Bad
Many parents in Milwaukee's school choice program don't engage in "extensive research" and rely on "informal networks" to choose a school. This may be uncomfortable for some including school choice advocate Howard Fuller, but it fits in nicely with F. A. Hayek's (and maybe even Michael Oakeshott's) view of knowledge. Not all useful knowledge is in the form that can be spelled out in a book, report, or advertising piece. Even a parent's "gut instinct" is based on tacit, time-place specific knowledge the individual doesn't even realize he possesses.
"Gut Instinct Guides Parents' Choices"
June 08, 2005
Collusion in Teachers Health Care
Owen at Boots & Sabers got a hold of a very interesting e-mail. It shows WEA Trust, an insurance company created by the Wisconsin teachers union, was talking with Dean Health Plan about a non-compete agreement in the public school market. Owen writes,
What we have here is evidence of an act of collusion between insurance companies whereby they effectively grant WEA Trust a monopoly within the public school market.
What did Dean Health get in return? I'd guess it could be some kind of market segregation agreement. Did WEA Trust agree to not enter non-school markets that Dean Health serves? Or was something more nefarious agreed to?
Is this legal? If Microsoft would found with a memo like this the software giant would have been broken up.
This reminds me of the Adam Smith quote about collusion:
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
In this case prices were raised and the taxpayers are stuck with the bill.
How long until a Wisconsin MSM outlet takes up this juicy story?
"Securing WEA Trusts' Monopoly"
June 07, 2005
Hilltoppers vs. Golden Eagles
Marquette University's quest for a new, non-Warriors nickname is down to two choices: Hilltoppers or Golden Eagles. It'd be nice to know how many people wrote in Warriors but we don't even know the vote totals from the first round:
The school declined to announce any detailed information on how the first round of voting broke down. According to a university press release, "it was mutually agreed between Marquette and Advantage Research Inc., the independent research firm conducting the poll, that information from the first poll will be released after the second poll has been completed so as not to introduce bias into the vote."
It would be quite a scoop is both pieces of information were leaked to say a local weblogger *wink* *wink*.
"MU Nickname List Pared to Golden Eagles, Hilltoppers"
Saved by the Professor
Marquette University professor John McAdams has the results of Mark Belling's poll. With over 92% of the vote Warriors won. I'm not surprised it won, but I am surprised at the margin. I wonder how many Warrior write-ins the offical university poll got? I'm sure Warriors won there too, but the pig-headed administration will never let that info escape.
"Belling’s Nickname Straw Poll"
June 06, 2005
Belling's Warrior Vote
I just turned on Mark Belling's show. I missed the vote tallies for his Marquette nickname vote, but it sounds like Warriors was a strong winner. Belling isn't smart enough to post the results on his website so I don't know how much Warriors won by. Can any of my Belling-listening readers help me out?
June 03, 2005
Unless many good things happen we may see the end of a Milwaukee cultural institution. The Milwaukee Public Museum in the past few weeks has shown itself to be a financial disaster. They have a $7 million budget deficit, have already laid off 56 people with more to come.
Museum president and CEO Michael Stafford resigned this morning citing "the impact of negative publicity these past weeks" that has "my effectiveness as a leader and fundraiser in this community." In other words, no one has any faith in him. That's not a surprise since during his 18 month term the museum went from popular crowd pleaser to financial embarassment.
So far there has been no evidence Stafford did anything dishonest, unethical, or illegal to bring about the museum's demise. A Milwaukee County audit is suppose to be finished next week. What we do know is this collapse occured on Stafford's watch. Museum Board Chairman David Meissner can defend Stafford all he wants by saying Stafford was "not the cause of the museum's current financial hardship." We do know the museum was fine financially before Stafford arrive, and now it's on critical life support. If Meissner knows who is responsible for this mess he should let us know. If he doesn't maybe he should consider resigning too since a board chairman should have some inkling of what is going on.
"Public Museum President Stafford Resigns"
It's always painful when Dennis Getto puts together his list of the 30 best Milwaukee-area resturants. If the hunger pangs don't hurt I know my wallet soon will be.
"Served with Distinction"
May 27, 2005
Six inches was all it took for a man to win his appeal of a speeding ticket. Paul Mertz claims he went 59 mph in a 35-mph zone because a speed limit sign was six inches too small. No, sir. You missed the sign because you were going so damn fast. And a state appeals court tossed common sense out the window.
"Man Fights Speeding Ticket On Basis Of Sign Size"
May 24, 2005
Even Mad-City Mad About Taxes
The state GOP should be using their brains now that even Lefty-haven Madison is getting tired of endless tax increases.
"Madison School Referendum Fails"
Other Nickname Voting
Mark Belling is hosting a better poll for Marquette's new nickname. Better because voting for Warriors is an acceptable choice.
Polls Have Opened
Marquette students, staff, and alumni can now start voting for the new school nickname--as long as it isn't Warriors. If I could vote I'd pick Golden Avalanche. One-third of GOP3.com is backing Hilltoppers, and Professor McAdams confirmed that people can pick one of the listed names, write in Warriors and not have their ballot spoiled.
"MU Begins Process to End Identity Crisis"
May 21, 2005
The Next Radio Superstar
WISN will be holding open auditions for a new local talk show host. Give the judges your best three minutes of talk and you might land a two year contract. I've always considered TAM my written version of talk radio. Let's see if I can parlay this to a radio audience.
"Here's Your Shot at a Talk Radio Slot"
May 16, 2005
Prof. McAdams is doing a great job covering all the angles of the Marquette University Warriors fiasco. Some highlights include:
May 14, 2005
Worst. Job. Ever.
I nominate condom collector at Milwaukee's sewage plant.
First, a single laborer armed with a swimming pool skimmer was posted at the chlorine tanks at Jones Island to nab condoms that survived earlier phases of screening at the plant. To date, the effort has yielded 14,020 stubborn condoms scooped from the final sewage treatment soup over 551 days. Average daily yield: 25.4 condoms, according to the district.
And it cost taxpayers $52.15 an hour.
Owen has more.
"Condom Control — at a Price"
May 13, 2005
In the Warrior battle Professor McAdams writes that Marquette University has been deeply influenced by the Great Lakes Inter-tribal Council. Specifically by Raymond DePerry. MU brought DePerry to the campus to speak on Indians as mascots presuming he represented the Native American community. Well, it seems DePerry isn't much of a representative since he's been prevented from seeking a third term as tribal chairman of the Red Cliff Tribal Council. Other council members accuse him of not actually living on the reservation. As McAdams writes, "Marquette was, to put it bluntly, hustled by a racial hustler."
Without a Prescription but with an ID
Soon when you are suffering from a cold or allergies you'll need to have some photo ID ready when you march to the pharmacist. In an example of the Wisconsin GOP inconviencing just about everybody they passed a bill to limit and track sales of non-prescription medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used in the making of methamphetamine. Stuff like Sudafed while technically considered "over-the-counter" will soon be behind the counter.
Because of the bill's wording some medicines won't be stashed behind the counter. Products containing pseudoephedrine in a liquid form are exempt. That's fine for some, but many depend on the popular Sudafed. Unintentionally, the state legislature is playing doctor and economic favorites. And if meth makers find a way to use liquids state authorities will slap restrictions on all pseudoephedrine products.
What really disturbs be is how this bill passed a Republican-controlled legislature with hardly no opposition. Rep. Kitty Rhoades, a Republican, sponsored the bill and it sailed through the Senate with no opposition (thanks for nothing Sen. Grothman) and only six representatives opposed it in the State Assembly. This is the same party that cries out about limiting government through TABOR, but expands it because they can't think of anything besides quasi-prohibition to fight the methamphetamine problem.
May 12, 2005
Very Short Hiatus
Marquette's continuing nickname embarassment, voting fraud discovered, and the GOP wanting to raise the state's minimum wage. You'd think TAM would be on top of all these stories. Don't worry. No need to issue an Amber Alert. What seems to happen whenever I come back from a trip is I get zonked out and have to catch up on sleep. BlogNashville took a lot out of me, but I had a great time doing it. I hope to write some posts tonight.
All of us hacked off about the voter fraud that occured last year, we should be happy E. Michael McCann actually wants to arrest some people. But how much you want to bet he'll plea bargain them as fast as he can?
"Arrests Sought in Election Fraud"
May 10, 2005
Webloggers and Talk Radio Weren't Blowing Smoke
Well, well, well. I guess conservative talk radio hosts and webloggers weren't just racists trying to stop minorities from voting by pointing out a whole host of possible voting fraud in Milwaukee. The joint, bipartisan federal-local investigation found voting fraud really did happen:
Investigators said Tuesday they found clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee, including more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses or voted in the name of a dead person.
I will comment more tomorrow.
"Inquiry Finds Evidence of Fraud in Election"
May 09, 2005
Green Wins Straw Poll
Here's a quick thought on the straw poll for the governor's race at this weekend's Wisconsin GOP Convention. Mark Green has a lead over Scott Walker. How much is a little hard to tell. Green's campaign might have just put lots of time and effort into winning the straw poll while Walker's campaign saw the convention for what it was, an off-year event for political diehards. My gut instinct is Walker's support came from Southeast Wisconsin where they've seen him actually coverning in a conservative way. Activists in the rest of the state just haven't seen Walker in action but know Green has been toiling away in the House of Representatives. Walker needs to go out beyond Milwaukee County and tell Republicans that not only can a conservative win an election in that Milwaukee but he has faced the same fiscal problems affecting the Badger State.
Funding Schools with Medicaid
Wisconsin public schools have been using Medicare funds to shore up their budgets.
Pinched by the state-set revenue caps, more and more public schools have tapped into a Medicaid reimbursement program that now is pumping millions of dollars into their coffers every year.
Public schools like the program because they don't have to control expenses as much as they would have. The state likes it because they take a 40% cut and put it into the general fund. So thank you citizens of Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and all the rest of the states for helping us not control our spending.
I'll need to work up some cleaver wording but there should be a maxium that states that when "free" money is available government will find a way to grab as much as it can.
"Medicaid Helping Schools Trim Funding Shortages"
May 06, 2005
Wisconsin GOP Convention
If BlogNashville weren't happening this weekend I'd be in Sheboygan tooling around the Wisconsin GOP Convention. Wisely, the state GOP are letting webloggers cover the action. So Kevin, Owen, Lord Ben, and the GOP3.com youngins (when they're not saying "No 2 Gold") will hopefully provide some interesting news and insight.
It's just a school nickname. Why get so upset? Hell, I didn't even attend Marquette.
The issue of Marquette giving in again to an ethnic pressure group encapsulates a whole bunch of issues: racism, political correctness, tradition, community, and liberal dominance of universities.
Since when did any ethnic group have a monopoly on the use of a word? Marquette University seems to think that the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) has such control of the word "warrior." They have been steadfast in their opposition to the Marquette's use of that word as an athletic nickname. I'm sorry to tell the GLITC they don't control the word. Other than in Marquette's specific historical instance warrior has no racist connotation. And that's due to the school's choice of mascots rather than the nickname. "Warrior" is simply a word for a fighter, a soldier. The word brings up feelings of pride, accomplishment, loyalty, duty, honor. No racial group, not whites, blacks, or Indians have a monopoly on those traits.
Marquette president Father Robert Wild said,
But as we worked through it, we became convinced that we live in a different era than when the Warriors name was selected in 1954. The perspective of time has shown us that our actions, intended or not, can offend others. We must not knowingly act in a way that others will believe, based on their experience, to be an attack on their dignity as human beings. We cannot teach one principle about respect for human dignity in our classrooms, than fail to act by the same principle when making decisions.
No one called for the return of the Indian mascot or Willie Wampum. Pro-warriors simply wanted the return of their school's nickname which was taken away for no good reason.
From the Journal Sentinel we get this bit of drivel from Dale Hoffman:
They fought off the pressure to re-insult an entire culture.
It goes to show even the sports page if filled with the same Lefty, politically correct as the rest of the paper. In Wild and Hoffman's world warrior equals Indian. Only Indians can be warriors. Tell that to the brave souls of many races, creeds, colors, and nationalities who fought and died in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On the editorial page we have even more politically correct, conventional wisdom:
Now is - ahem - a golden opportunity to remember and appreciate that Marquette University did not return to the Warriors nickname. Doing so would have boorishly given offense to a race of people and betrayed the principles on which the Catholic institution stands.
The board implies all those students, alumni, and MU fans are closet racists for wanted back the Warriors nickname they loved so much. None of these liberals ever has made a serious attempt to convince the pro-Warriors why the word was so offensive. That's because they have no intellectual rock to stand on. And why bother when you can just talk down to them in a language they think they can easily understand?
"Gold: Pan It or Dig it?"
Dwayne Wade, possibly the greatest player in Marquette basketball history, wasn't too sure about dumping the Golden Eagles for the Gold:
ESPN: Your alma mater, Marquette, changed their nickname to the Gold. . . . What do you think of that?
Wade, the ex-Golden Eagle, can call MU all he wants. In the words of wimpy MU Board of Trustees chairman John Bergstrom, "We're done." Now begins the process of focus groups and other marketing clap trap to force the new nickname down students' and alumni's throats. Or as MU president Father Robert Wild put it, "This is not an optional program. This is going to be a brand that we're going to build."
"It's Gold. Period."
May 05, 2005
Professor McAdams' commentary on the Gold fiasco is so good. You. Must. Read. It. All.
He ends it with this:
It was a sham, and a charade, and a transparent one. Marquette will be paying for it for years to come.
Big winner: UW-Madison.
"Trustees Turn Chicken"
Basketball Players Hate Gold
At an anti-Gold rally Marquette star point guard Travis Diener "took the megaphone and yelled “NO GOLD” into it distinctly."
Another anti-Gold rally is planned for Friday.
"No 2 Gold Rally this Friday"
May 04, 2005
MU Petition Drive
If you're a Marquette student sign GOP3.com's petition to let students "decide the mascot by vote."
May 03, 2005
Photo ID Veto Sustained
Gov. Jim Doyle Friday vetoed the voter photo ID. Today, the State Assembly failed to override his veto.
Although the photo ID bill was one of the most hotly debated issues during Tuesday's session, the outcome wasn't a surprise. Republicans had expected to fall short of having a two-thirds majority - 66 votes - to override Doyle's veto of the bill.
Someone should ask what was occupying the two missing representatives' time.
While Doyle gets to maintain an election status quo Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Rep. Mark Green both get a popular issue to hammer the incumbant with. 80+% of likely voters back a photo ID requirement before voting. 70% of municiple clerks, the people who run local polls, also back the measure. Yet Doyle is too politically tone deaf or too beholden to Democrats who don't mind shenanigans at the polls.
Because of the veto Assembly Republicans want to put photo ID in the state constitution. I'm in the same boat as Owen. The state constitution should be left as the general outline of how state government should function. Such detailed amendments would cutter the document. Detailed policy like photo ID needs to be left simply as state statutes.
"No ID Needed at Polls Anytime Soon"
May 01, 2005
Someone always finds a twist to any story. About Sharon Rosenfeld who gave up her Packers tickets instead of going to jail some tax professors debated whether she could claim a charitable tax deduction. Answer: no.
April 28, 2005
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is accused of puffing up their circulation numbers for nine years in a lawsuit filed today. Shorewest Realtors is seeking class action status and says they have evidence of fraud from current and former newspaper employees. What also has to be pointed out that the paper has recently fired managers in the circulation and marketing areas. Where there's smoke there might be fire.
Let Off Easy
The Appleton Post-Crescent has a little more on Sharon Rosenfeld giving up her Packers tickets instead of going to jail. Her choice is part of a sentence that includes two years probation. Not bad for using her union for short-term loans. If I were the judge I would have made her give up the tickets and spend 90 days in jail.
"Woman Gives up Packers Tickets to Forgo Jail Time"
April 27, 2005
Giving Up the Tickets
Sharon Rosenthal seriously considered it, but she gave up her Green Bay Packers season tickets instead of going to jail. I heard the news on WISN radio and will post a link when the story hits the web.
UPDATE: We now have WBAY in Green Bay confirming the story.
"Woman Chooses Packers Tickets Over Jail"
April 21, 2005
Muskego high school principle Dennis Bussen denies solely approving $57,000 in plasma screen TVs and sound system. Bussen said, "I never saw any of the costs. I wasn't handling the financing." He said assistant superintendent Bob Rammer and superindentdent Richard Drury were together in a meeting about the TVs.
All three of us, in looking at the recommendation (from the audio-video company), concurred it was the best recommendation. . . . It would be the most appropriate for the space. The last I knew, the company was going to come back with some costing.
Then magically the tvs were installed. Someone had to sign off. No TV installer would do that much work and not be sure it was approved. Someone signed off on it. Who? Time to dig up the paperwork.
If passing the buck ever becomes an official high school sport watch out, Muskego will be one of the best.
"Principal Says TVs were Joint Decision"
April 18, 2005
Harvest the Cats
Instead of shooting feral cats, an east coast cabbie thinks they should be harvested as a delicacy. That would really help ease Wisconsin's current laughingstock image.
"One Cab Driver's Solution to Wisconsin's Cat Problem"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam: Vacation Edition.]
April 11, 2005
Waukesha Rove Report
Daniel at GOP3.com thinks I got ahead of myself in thinking Karl Rove (and thus President Bush) is backing Scott Walker for governor. Daniel was at the Waukesha Lincoln Day Dinner and provides a report. Anyone have a report from the Lake Geneva dinner?
"An Evening with Karl Rove Means Lots of ‘06 Politicking"
April 10, 2005
Roving around the Badger State
Karl "The Architect" Rove was in the Badger State speaking before Republican Party faithful. In Waukesha, Rove talked about the importance of the tough but failed fight for Wisconsin's electoral votes. Even though the state went for John Kerry Rove told supporters the battle for votes was vital for President Bush's re-election victory.
You seem to think you came up short, and you did in the Electoral College. But without your effort here, we wouldn't have won. You don't fight someone just in one place, you fight them all along the line and make them spread their resources. You scared the heck out of [Kerry].
From the political baseball file we learned who Rove would like to win the GOP governor primary. "W stands for Walker." That being Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker who is facing Rep. Mark Green.
In Lake Geneva, Rove talked about Social Security reform and we have one picture of the Dark Prince.
"Rove Says Wisconsin Was Key to Bush Win Despite Voting for Kerry"
April 09, 2005
Karl Rove will speak in Lake Geneva today, and tee bee has a connection with pics to follow.
"Break Out the Tin Foil"
April 08, 2005
Jeopardy! Champ Coming to Cheeseland
Sean and other Wisconsinite Jeopardy! Freaks: Your hero (and mine), Ken Jennings, is coming to Wausau!
A millionaire game show whiz joins thousands of competitors this weekend at the 36th annual self-proclaimed world's largest trivia contest.
This is probably too short of notice for some. It's a good thing the article didn't say Brett Favre would be in Stevens Point too, because then all of Wisconsin would end up in Stevens Point. But "Brett Favre" and "trivia contest" just don't go well together.
[Sean comments: It's 12:16 am on 04.09. I wanted to hear how hard the questions are but WWSP has too many people listening on the net. This is a big deal. Maybe next year I should organize a group of friends and webloggers. I'd love to see how the power of the blogosphere would fare.]
April 07, 2005
It's bad when politicians want to raise taxes. It's worse when Wisconsin politicians want to raise taxes in an already highly-taxed state. But what is even worse is when Republican politicians are the ones advocating a tax hike. Rep. Curt Gielow is doing his best to earn a RINO label by co-sponsoring a $1 increase in the cigarette tax to fund Medicaid and government anti-smoking efforts. Geilow calls it a "co-pay on those who smoke cigarettes."
Gov. Doyle never advocated raising the cigarette tax in his budget and has promised to veto any tax increases. So Madison has become like Alice's Wonderland where a Republican wants to raise a tax while a Democrat opposes it.
Charlie Sykes spelled out the lesson elected officials should take from Tuesday's elections. The public is tired of tax increases. A dollar taxed by government is one dollar less in the private, productive economy. In Wisconsin the fiscal problem has never been the lack of revenue, it's been the inability for those elected to control spending. More money into the state's coffers will be a temporary fix. If the cigarette tax was increased in a few years the politicians would come back saying they had to raise it again. If the spigot is finally turned off they'll have to so something shocking: evaluate programs and make priorities. That might include *gasp* cutting something. The only way we'll get to that point is if we stop feeding the beast.
"Cigarette Tax Boost Sought"
On Tuesday, Appleton voters stomped on private property rights and passed the state's most restrictive smoking ban. Barring court challenges on 07.01 smoking will be banned in all indoor public places. That includes bars and resturants. Anyone want to go to up there with me to smoke a few cigars in protest?
"Smoking Ban Passes"
Tower Investigation Plods Along
Last October, two electrical towers fell in south Milwaukee. Months later, the FBI is no where near figuring out who did it. A pair of gloves found near the fallen towers pointed investigators to Bob Gallob. But after lie detector tests, DNA tests, search warrants, and hours of questioning no charges have been filed.
As I wrote last fall, this would be a strange terrorist attack:
If this was a terrorist attack no one has claimed responsiblity, but it could put fear into America's heartland. No longer would cities on the East Coast be the only successful targets.
There hasn't been a rash of power towers falling. But Gallob can't explain how his gloves got near the fallen towers. There's no indication Gallob would have any motive. Someone who's a more likely suspect is Gallob's son Joseph. He told the FBI he found tools hidden in his mother's house that could be used on the big bolts on power towers. His past history of mental illness makes it possible he could have sabotaged the towers while not in full possession of his faculties. To the FBI Joseph isn't a suspect. They have pretty much crossed him off the list. So they pretty much have nothing. No suspect. No leads. No answers.
"Gloves Create a Towering Headache for City Worker"
April 06, 2005
Election Day Recap
There was an election yesterday. You probably noticed no pithy, extremely insightful analysis on TAM. All due to technical issues. It's a day later, I have a stable net connection (for now), and I still won't comment too much on the elections. Why spent my time doing what Patrick did?
Let me offer this idea: In the next state superintendent race get Howard Fuller to run on the GOP ticket. If school choice hasn't seriously expanded by 2009 make that the focus of the campaign. If Fuller wanted to run he would be formidible and scare the hell out of the teachers union.
"A Great Night for Politically Active Folks of S/E Wisconsin"
April 05, 2005
Today is Election Day
Don't forget to vote for Gregg Underheim for state school superintendent. Also vote no on making some county offices four-year terms and vote yes on the advisory referendum asking if state government should pay for circuit courts and human services mandated by the state. Finally, if you have to decide on raising taxes for your local school vote no. Your pocketbook will thank you.
"Schools Job Tops Ballot Tuesday"
April 04, 2005
A Call in the Night
State Sen. Mary Lazich had a evening conversation with Owen of Boots & Sabers. You know you're making an impact with your weblog when politicians are calling you.
I guess TAM isn't making quite the impact. No wonder TAM isn't on the Fond du Lac County GOP list of "good Republican links." :-(
"'Hello, is this Owen from Boots and Sabers?'"
Loser Comes to Wisconsin
John Edwards, hair and all, was in Wisconsin speaking before Democrats. He said lots of standard Edward boilerplate that "it says a lot about the character of a country as to how they treat those who are struggling." He also said Democrats "need to stand up for what we believe in." Sounds a bit like Howard Dean, M.D.
"Edwards Back in Wisconsin"
March 31, 2005
Teachers Union Opens the Spigot
The teachers union will spend more to support incumbent state superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster than what both she and opponent Gregg Underheim have raised combined in campaign contributions.
WEAC can't be afraid Burmaster will lose. She won't. Burmaster has raised almost four times the money Underheim has. I can only imagine it's the union's way of sending a message. They're telling potential future conservative opponents that if they're willing to spend this much on a sure-thing race imagine what they would spend in a highly competitive one?
"Schools Race to Get Cash Infusion"
March 30, 2005
Washburn is a Winner
Washburn's World is a great new Wisconsin weblog find. (Thanks, Kevin.) Through his wizbang mathematical analysis of Milwaukee voter fraud John concludes John Kerry loses about 3000 votes. That's more than 25% of his total ballot victory in Wisconsin. He asks, "What are the ballot box stuffing numbers are in Madison, Kenosha, Racine and Green Bay, West Allis, Wausau, Eau Claire, etc.?"
John also organizes 27 Wisconsin election problems.
More Details on Naked Man
We have more details on the Kenosha naked man shot to death yesterday morning. He was 300 pounds. His size may explain why Officer David Monson shot him nine times. What still isn't understood is why Sgt. Ron Bartholomew didn't use the taser--not a stun gun as previously reported--on the man.
"Kenosha Police Kill Naked Man who was Threatening His Kids"
March 29, 2005
Naked Man Shot by Police
Last night, a naked man walking along a Kenosha street with his three naked kids was shot and killed by police. One of the children told police the man "had an argument with his girlfriend, smoked marijuana, drank shampoo and poured water over his children before taking all three naked into the street." What the heck was in that weed and shampoo? The story says one of the officers had a stun gun. Why wasn't that used instead of shooting the man nine times? Realize this was after the man tossed away the scissors he had pressed to a baby's neck. Being naked he certainly wasn't hiding anything? I'm not saying Officer David Monson was wrong for shooting the man, questions need to be answered.
This would be the weird story of the day but someone got killed. Instead it's just very sad.
"Naked Man Shot and Killed by Police in Kenosha"
Getting Someone in Trouble
Owen took the pic and demanded an explanation. He told you to listed to WTMJ this morning for more. No stories on the web yet so I'll let you know that the van is part of a Milwaukee County public transit program. The van was designated for the 440th Airlift Wing to bring in people from Racine. Being near Beloit, WI violated the rules for the van's use. Someone's in trouble.
March 25, 2005
Our Yapper in Spain
Charlie's on vacation:
I'm leaving for Spain this afternoon, so (I'm sorry), no blogging for the next week.
I didn't know we were slacking off.
I hope someone doesn't annonymously call customs and tell them not to let him back into the country because he might be a threat. That would be a real bummer. ;-)
March 23, 2005
The Felon Loophole
Wisconsin is trying to put together a state-wide voter list. The Journal Sentinel's Greg Borowski reports a glaring loophole that will allow felons to illegally vote:
The statewide voter list, due to be completed late this year, would collect information on felons who are still on probation or parole and, as it stands now, officials would strike them from voting rolls.
One solution is to keep felons' names on voter lists but have a notation added. State Elections Board chief Kevin Kennedy isn't sure he wants to "clutter up the list." If you don't keep highlighted felons on the list you have two options: end same-day registration; or prosecute felons who vote illegally. If Milwaukee's E. Michael McCann is an example strong prosecutions won't happen. With all the shady registration operations going on last year I'm strongly in favor of ending same-day registration to give elections officials enough time to prepare for a fair, fraud-free election.
"Voter List Lacks Key Element"
UPDATE: Wow, the Journal Sentinel editorial board actually notices a voting fraud problem. The "What Me Worry?" gang is getting better. Yet they still can't see the need for voters to show an ID before getting a ballot. The newspaper's reporters know why photo ID at the polls is needed. So close, but still so far.
March 21, 2005
Welcome to the Blogosphere
State Rep. Frank Lasee has jumped into the blogosphere. His weblog will be a great source for pro-TABOR info.
March 19, 2005
The Florida sex offender admitting he killed his neighbor's little girl will only embolden Milwaukee-area citizens to oppose a sex offender house in their neighborhood.
"More Flak for Group Home"
"Fla. Police Discover Missing Girl's Body"
March 18, 2005
No longer can people claim there's no evidence of voter fraud in last year's elections. The Journal Sentinel's uber reporter Greg Borowski has found at least 82 felons who cast ballots. Borowski writes,
It also provides clear evidence of fraudulent voters in the November election, in which Democrat John Kerry topped President Bush by about 11,000 votes in Wisconsin.
Now, is Mayor Tom Barrett going to get serious about voter fraud?
"82 Felons Voted in Nov. 2 Election"
March 17, 2005
We know there's a political agenda behind locating a sexual predator home in the Milwaukee area. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker spells it out:
What really got them upset was the fact that I raised the question that some on the committee might have political motives. Yesterday, it was confirmed that several sites owned by the City of Milwaukee were considered by the committee prior to narrowing the field down to six sites, then four sites, then three sites. The City of Milwaukee objected and the sites were removed. The first two private land owners objected and the sites were removed. A third site was removed this week because a private land owner removed.
The answer is Scott Walker is running for governor. Democrats fear him and want to do anything they can to hurt him politically.
UPDATE: It's rare that I come to the same brilliant conclusion as the very astute Mark Belling. Patrick's audio clip proves great minds think alike.
March 10, 2005
Cows are Free
Glendale city officials got their act together and will let Karl Kopp put up 23 fiberglass cows. The city originally ruled against him because it claimed the bovines were advertising. The Board of Appeals disagreed. Paul Lucey said the location, an embankment, was as place he couldn't "imagine that someone would put advertising dollars."
"Kopp's Art is Ruled Bovine, Not a Sign"
March 09, 2005
Based on reporting by Spivak & Bice those Milwaukee police officers who witnessed the beating of Frank Jude and did nothing will have their careers ruined.
Good. They failed in their sworn duty. Police possess coercive powers monopolized by the state. They have them in order to protect citizens' rights. When those rights are violated due to police action or inaction they trample on a public trust. Public confidence is damaged which only makes the police's crime fighting job harder. I have no sympathy for those pathetic excuses for law enforcement officers. They deserve whatever they get.
"Jude Cops can Kiss Law Careers Goodbye"
Tommy Thompson is out of government and has three new jobs: senior advisor for Deloitte & Touche, partner for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and president of Logistics Health Inc.
For the accounting and law firms Thompson will be zooming all over drumming up business. At Logistics Health he'll be responsible for company growth. That shouldn't be a problem since the company is a "provider of medical readiness and homeland security solutions." Knowing plenty of people in the administration won't hurt his company. You know he wasn't hired for his management style.
While devoting 70% of his time to Deloitte and Akin Gump and being a full-time employee of Logistics Health (sure, he'll really be putting in 50-hour weeks for them) Thompson will go on the speaking circuit and even teach a class. When the guy said he wanted to finally make some money he wasn't kidding.
"Thompson Adds Another Job"
March 08, 2005
Doyle Wants to Tax Your Downloads
Gov. Doyle wants to slap a tax on internet downloads. So whenever you buy a song on iTunes or the latest version of anti-virus software, Doyle wants you to pay an extra 5% to fund his big government. This from a man who last month told the state legislature:
And, keeping true to my promise, we will eliminate this $1.6 billion deficit without raising taxes.
That crash you just heard wasn't a window breaking, it was a Doyle promise.
Politically, Doyle looks like a fool. It's a tax that won't be enforced--citizens will pay on the honor system. He's going to be mocked by radio talk yappers and webloggers. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Congressman Mark Green will pump out a few press releases bashing Doyle for trying to balance the state budget on iPod owners. Then they'll be an announcement that Doyle changed his mind. He gains nothing.
"Doyle Proposes Sales Tax on Internet Downloads"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Cudahay's One-Dollar Deal
I agree with Bruce Murphy that having to shower the Pabst City project with oodles of government subsidies shows there isn't a market for the project. However, about the Pabst Theater he writes,
In the meantime, Milwaukee has the Pabst Theater, with its own connection to the brewing industry, which is booking an original series of music acts in a unique venue – and without a huge government hand-out. Why is the city using tax dollars to undermine the Pabst, the Riverside, Shank Hall and all the other entertainment providers in town?
Murphy fails to mention that the City of Milwaukee gave the theater to multimillionaire Michael Cudahay for one dollar. Talk about a huge government handout.
March 07, 2005
Journal Sentinel is Pro-Cow
The Journal Sentinel editorial board has joined this humble weblog in endorsing the cows Karl Kopp wants to place behind his Greendale store. They base their opinion on Kopp's track record for design:
His three frozen custard stands are as notable for their distinctive architecture as they are for the cholesterol-laden goodies they purvey. Kopp's cows would be a festive ornament, not a blemish. Kopp should win his appeal.
"Heard the One about Cows?"
Poof! Taxes Become Fees
We have found one way how local government will try to get around a Taxpayers Bill of Right (TABOR) or a state-imposed property tax freeze. They'll turn taxes into fees. That's what Slinger is considering:
If the state Legislature imposes tax levy limits on municipal governments, Brandt said, he does not know how the village could maintain the Police Department at its current size without substantially reducing other services.
The end result is too great a burden on taxpayers. The point of TABOR and a property tax freeze is to end the long-standing growth in government. One person's fee is another's tax but it still ends up sucking hard earned money out of peoples' pockets. We'll have to keep a close eye on this.
"Police Cuts Among Slinger Options"
March 04, 2005
Free(ze) the Cows
Glendale city busybodies rejected a local frozen custard stand's request to install 23 fiberglass cows behind their stand. Nearby property owners haven't complained yet Mayor Jay Hintze said, "My sense is that the bulk of the community would be against it."
"Custard's Last Stand: Kopp's Appeals Ban on Cow Art"
March 03, 2005
Feingold Loses Mother
My prayers are with Sen. Feingold and his family.
March 02, 2005
But What Nice Phones They Have
Based on Owen's experience he knows OIC was a bloated spendthrift that deserved to be shut down.
"OIC's Call Manager"
Yapping About Ward
By the way if you want to hear how I did, go to NRANews.com and drag the slider almost near the end. I'm the last guest on Cam's show.
Churchill Rally Photo Essay
The prayer vigil/rally/protest was organized at the campus mall. Across the street from the rally was a huge American flag.
About a half hour before the rally started there were only a handful of Churchill defenders. One of the women held a sign that read "I Love Men."
Another Churchillian (to steal Jib's word) had a bullhorn. He moved right up to the rally attendees and spewed Lefty cliches like "No blood for oil!" and "No blood for Halliburton!" These guys need to get some new material. He also carried a sign that read "They* Hate Our Freedom" meaning the "Rightwing."
Check out this gentleman.
He may hate capitalism, but ironically he sports mittens and a headband made via the capitalist system to keep him warm. When you have such a simplistic message on a sign complex thought is far from your mind.
Speaking of capitalism, a local coffee shop took advantage of a crowd in the cold by selling warm drinks.
And what would any protest be without the Socialists?
Surprisingly, I didn't hear any call to "Free Mumia."
The rally attendees were standing proud if occasionally looking strange. One man who garnered a lot of the reporters' attention was clear in his belief.
This woman had similar feeling to Ann Althouse and wished Churchill didn't get all the attention he was getting.
These folks weren't exactly clear as to why they disapproved of Churchill.
This gentleman decided to advocate anarcho-capitalism.
Charlie Sykes spoke.
As did State Rep. Stephen Nass.
And State Rep. Robin Vos.
Let's just say the two didn't inspire anyone. People were hyped up enough.
A voice who's absence spoke volumes was Gov. Jim Doyle's. Not even a condemnation of Churchill's hate has publically left his lips.
both remembered those who died at the hands of evil, Islamists.
And many will never forget the fallen.
UPDATE: The Journal Sentinel lets us know what happened at Churchill's speech. For being an event supposedly devoted to racism toward American Indians Churchill talked a lot about himself.
"Churchill Defends Sept. 11 Essay in Speech at UW-Whitewater"
Charlie Sykes notes the rudeness from Lefty Churchill backers:
When the minister tried to lead the crowd in prayer in memory of the dead -- they continued the shout down, and largely succeeded in drowning out the prayer.
Dean was also at the rally with pics and reaction.
BlogGeneral wonders why Churchill even bothers living in the U.S.
UPDATE II: Ann Althouse finds Churchill "boring." That I completely agree with. I didn't get to see his speech/ego stroking live, but I didn't miss anything. He's merely an angry man with a schtick who's moment of fame is fading. It was most fascinating seeing his defenders act. It was a far-Left fringe--not where approaching mainstream Democrats--that couldn't or wouldn't denounce what he said.
March 01, 2005
Jib's Churchill Coverage
I may have beaten Jib to the punch with my initial report, but he's beaten me with some pictures. My delay is because of the Badgers-Hoosiers game and software problems. I've been having trouble using Audacity to import the recording I made. (First time I've really played with audio software.) It also didn't help that I had to drive 1 1/2 hours home from Whitewater.
Tonight is cold, very cold. Almost as cold as Ward Churchill's heart. Almost as cold as Churchill's supporters who had the gall to chant during a prayer to Sep. 11 victims and their families. Fortunately, that was the worst of the behavior. Sure there were plenty of in-your-face discussions, heated at times, but they were peaceful. People were passionate about Churchill's hate speech while others were passionate in defending his right to speak--which no one has questioned--as well as his radical ideas. There was the obligatory Halliburton chant--a Leftist rally wouldn't be the same without one. Socialists and anarchist anti-capitalists joined in the fun. Neocons were blamed for starting a "war for oil." Funny, there was no mention of Karl Rove.
Twenty to thirty College Republicans started the protest by holding signs along the street remembering Sep. 11 victims. A half block down was Churchill's defenders--all twelve of them. These didn't seem like the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree. One held a sign that read "I Love Men." I didn't ask her what that had to do with free speech, anti-American hate, or Ward Churchill. It was Merry Prankster-ish.
For a prayer vigil this was the peppiest I ever attended. It was more of an act of defiance toward Churchill and the UW-Whitewater administration. There were cheers when Charlie Sykes and the other speakers pointed out Churchill's hateful rantings. There was a plan to walk silently to the University Center where Churchill would speak, but the College Republican who was to lead us got the crowd all riled up by having us thank everyone who put the event together. Solemnity gave way to passionate indignation.
On a techie note: thanks to Jib for letting me use his computer. I'm having no trouble posting with UW-Whitewater's wi-fi. I'm glad to know some of my tax dollars are going to something productive. I have pictures and recorded some conversations. I'll try to post those later tonight.
Whitewater Prayer Vigil
Countering the hate that will be spewed by Ward Churchill the UW-Whitewater College Republicans will be hosting a prayer vigil. Speaking there will be Charlie Sykes.
Jib and I will be there to cover the event. Expect something later in the evening. Neither Jib nor I know if we'll be able to find an available wi-fi connection in Whitewater.
"Ward Churchill, UW-Whitewater Preview"
February 28, 2005
Milwaukee Officers Charged
It's one thing to be cautious and complete, but District Attorney E. Michael McCann just loves to take his sweet time in filing charges. It took months for him to file charges against the Election Day tire slashers. In the case of Frank Jude, it took McCann over three months to charge three Milwaukee police officers. This case was trickier because the district attorney needed someone to start talking. Officers present wouldn't talk due to "misplaced loyalty" to use McCann's words. The wife of accused Officer Jon Bartlett is talking in exchange for immunity.
Look at what "Milwaukee's finest" did. The beating didn't even happen while the officers were on duty. It happened at a party hosted by one of the accused Andrew Spengler. What a black eye those "peace keepers" gave their department and their city.
This crime has the potential of inflaming racial tensions. Alderman, racebaiter, and gay basher Michael McGee tried to flex black power by calling for a boycott of two Milwaukee shopping centers. His call was ignored. That's a good sign.
"3 Milwaukee Police Officers Charged in Jude Beating"
February 27, 2005
Countering Churchill's Hate
Bob Trapp offers this information on a counter-demonstration at Tuesday's Ward Churchill event:
RALLY TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF 9-11
Sounds good. Being positive will be a refreshing change to Churchill's venomous bile. I hope to be there taking pictures and getting reaction.
Anti-American Arrives Tuesday
Tuesday, Ward Churchill is coming to UW-Whitewater. I'm trying to get organized with my fellow BBA members and readers.
"Preparing for Churchill"
February 24, 2005
"Picture of Chaos"
After listening to the BBA's favorite Journal Sentinel reporter Greg Borowski (go buy his book) on Charlie Sykes' show this morning we're at an impasse in the voter fraud story. the fed-city joint investigation is preventing reporters and weblogger from looking at voting records. Also the Elections Commission ran the election so badly it will be very hard to disern fraud from poor record keeping. Borowski told Charlie that a "picture of chaos emerged in the final days" at City Hall. Absentee ballot requests weren't filled and a bunch of union workers, staff from Gov. Doyle, and even Mayor Tom Barrett's family had to pitch in to get process thousands of voter registration cards.
Rep. Jeff Stone is exactly right when he told Charlie, "We have a system designed to allow for fraud to occur and for tremendous error." We see the error, we just don't know how much fraud occured.
I'm listening to the TABOR debate on Charlie Sykes' "Insight 2005." This is great, informative talk on what TABOR is, why it's needed, and how we got in
State Assembly Speaker John Gard is a passionate, very smart speaker. I'm glad he's fighting for TABOR and not distracted by running for governor. By comparing Wisconsin's tax burden to that of growing countries like China and Ireland puts the issue in a global economic context.
Opponents of TABOR have been defending their side very well. State Rep. John Richards offered the rebuttal that controling government spending is the role of legislators and government officals. If voters have a problem with spending they should vote new people into office. This is a simple, seemingly common sense comeback. However, it doesn't explain why why Wisconsin government spending has been increasing for decades, nor does it include any public choice thinking involving the power of special interests.
For someone like me who doesn't have an in-depth knowledge of TABOR (that's why I've written little on it) this is a bonanza to learn more about the idea and arguments against it.
Bravo, Charlie for putting together a great event.
Charlie Sykes has a great line up for his "Insight 2005" show this morning. I do see something missing: where are the webloggers? One member of the BBA--I'd nominate Owen--could have yapped with Rep. Jeff Stone and Greg Borowski about voter fraud. Still, this is must listen radio.
February 23, 2005
When a Cut Isn't a Cut
Awesome post by Owen showing the "evil" state Republicans aren't really gutting public education like Gov. Doyle is claiming.
"Doing the Math"
Voter ID Politics
The voter ID bill is almost one-third of the way to becoming law. The State Assembly will vote on the bill Thursday after Democrats got the vote delayed. The bill will then go to a State Senate committee which will hold public hearings across the state. The toughest part is trying to convince Gov. Doyle not to veto the bill. Republicans will have to decide what political maneuvers to use to get this bill signed. The GOP could hold up something important to Doyle. It could be part of the budget/tax freeze negotiations. At worst, Doyle vetoes the bill and gives Scott Walker and/or Mark Green another popular issue to use against the Democratic incumbant.
"Late-Night Move Stalls Voter ID Measure"
February 22, 2005
Milwaukee might have an official soda. You could say it already does: barley pop. The city council is considering taking offers from soda companies. San Diego got $6.6 million from Pepsi. This could be a good idea for taxpayers. The new soda money could replace taxdollars, but that would require the government to not spend more. Also, Milwaukee already has a fine soda company, Sprecher. The fizzy stuff they make is so much better than Coke, Pepsi, even R.C.
"Milwaukee Will Consider Adopting Official Soft Drink"
February 19, 2005
Congressional "No Customer Service"
Mary Eileen is having trouble with Rep. Sensenbrenner's office on getting details about a bill that just passed the House. A staffer in the office told her not to post about the issue until she got a letter from the Congressman two weeks from now. I know little about the bill so I'm hoping TAM readers can help.
"Concerns about "Real ID" Bill"
Correction on Chinese Spy Story
Hey all, I made a boo-boo. Yesterday, I was harsh on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I accused them of getting scooped by Time magazine on the Manitowoc spies. I was wrong. A few more minutes of Google searching would have found this 09.30.04 story about the FBI arresting a total of four people, Ning Wen, his wife, and two Chinese nationals. They were on the ball, and I messed up. My apologies.
"Manitowoc Couple Charged in China Export Scheme"
February 18, 2005
Flooding the Zone
Lakeshore Laments is digging deep on the Manitowoc Chinese spies story.
"The Manitowoc Time Magazine Story"
Badger State Spy Ring
Wow, I live about 70 miles from an international spy ring.
CORRECTION: The Journal Sentinel did indeed report on the story. I didn't search long enough. My apologies. For more, here's my correction post.
Churchill's Eichmann Fetish
Ward Churchill, the hate-spewing, sad excuse for a tenured professor, likes calling lots of people Adolph Eichmann.
February 17, 2005
Unknown Racine Voters
Brainpost looks at the Racine Journal Times reporting 313 voter verification postcards (so far) have been returned to the city clerk. Rob--some Journal Times reporter who runs the Rob on the Road weblog--reports 106 of the cards will be turned over to the district attorney. This is the same number as GOP State Rep. Robin Vos called suspicious--82 were marked "unable to deliver" and 24 had wrong addresses.
"Election Fraud Update: 313 Racine Voter Registration Postcards Returned"
UPDATE: This might be good news for G. Gordon Liddy. Redstate reports Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are backing legislation that would force states to allow ex-felons to vote. As Tex Whitley writes, "Do Hillary and the Dems need the ex-felon vote in order to win a national election? Perhaps they do."
"Hillary and Kerry: Let Felons Vote"
I may be in D.C. but I can still cover Milwaukee. Case in point: Marquette University admits one of its professors erred by comparing American snipers to Nazis.
February 16, 2005
Tire Slashing Case Heads to Trial
The five accused of slashing the tires of rented GOP get out the vote vans finished their preliminary hearing yesterday. Those accused include the son of a Democratic Congressman and the son of a Milwaukee ex-mayor. The next step is a 03.04 arraignment.
"5 Must Stand Trial in Tire-Slashing"
Insomnia and an Election
It's late and I'm posting again. Nights before I travel on airplanes mean trouble sleeping. No, I have no fear of planes--odd since I'm generally afraid of heights--it's just the excitement of going places keeps me awake. Thankfully, there's news to comment on.
Yesterday was primary election day in Wisconsin. Somewhere, someplace may have had a local race or two. For me, the only thing on the ballot was state superintendent.
Incumbent Elizabeth Burmaster will face Gregg Underheim on 04.05. Burmaster is backed by the teachers union, the Journal Sentinel editorial board, and liberals in general. Underheim is backed by Republicans, conservatives, and anti-tax hawks. I'll let you guess who I voted for and am supporting.
Underheim will have a tough climb to win. Since the state superintendent is on a very off year only die-hard activists and political junkies know about the race. This makes Burmaster's support from the teachers union all that more important. She already has a network of passionate backers ready to donate time and money. Underheim has to galvanize conservatives who are more focused on getting the taxpayers' bill of rights into the state constitution. Burmaster should win easily. Too bad. Imagine Gov. Doyle having to deal with a state superintendent not asking for more tax dollars?
Something interesting happened to me at the polls. At 7:00 last night, I went into my polling place. I was #47. Filling the one hole on my ballot took all of ten seconds. After I put my ballot in the box one of the poll workers asked me to fill out a new registration form. I completed the simple form that looks more complicated than it really is. The poll worker then asked to see my drivers license.
Actually, I think it was a gentle, effective way of updating the voter rolls.
"Burmaster, Underheim Advance Easily to Finals"
February 15, 2005
Voting Problems Go Beyond Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found other Wisconsin communities have simmilar problems as Milwaukee in accounting for differences between the number of votes cast and voters who cast them. Milwaukee can only account for 96.5% of votes cast. Neenah can account for 95.5%. Eau Claire can account for only 92.5% Madison and Fond du Lac did slightly better than Milwaukee with 96.7% of votes accounted for.
How Milwaukee differs from these other communities is how they quickly explain the gaps. Waupau and Bayside both insist the error is with Wisconsin Voter Lists, the first that shared its data with the Journal Sentinel. Their records account for every single vote. In Howard, an official pointed out a computer system that considered newly registered voters as having voted last Election Day.
In Milwaukee, the only explanation for the 7,000 vote gap is "layer upon layer" of human error. No one from the Election Commission or the Mayor's office will consider voter fraud.
There are some disturbing news. Eau Claire officials claim 8,000-10,000 voters (out of over 36,000 total voters) changed their address causing them to re-register. Close to one-third of a city moved? How typical is that? They say processing them is the reason for their large vote gap--92.5% accounted for. Then Madison, another big source for Democratic votes, doesn't even bother trying to reconcile the number of votes and voters. Hey vote fraudsters, go to Madison, they don't care!
"More Voting Gaps Found"
February 13, 2005
A Rejoinder to a Response
Sometimes when people converse they talk past each other in such a way as to think they understood what the other was saying. That seems to be the case with Ann Althouse and I. In an e-mail Ann asked me, "Aren't you helping him get attention?" I took it as the probing question a professor would ask. Hence, the post I wrote.
Ann posted a response where she wrote,
He titles the new post "Should we even bother?" which suggests he's not really getting or not admitting what my point was.
Part of the problem is the fact that I write lousy post titles. What usually happens is the first half-decent phrase that comes to mind gets slapped onto the post. Another problem was a misunderstanding. I thought her point was about drawing attention to Ward Churchill. Is that what the egomanic wants? I was incorrect. Here's what she was trying to get at:
But if your outrage at things Churchill has written is creating a fund of energy that you want to expend on something useful, what I have recommended and continue to recommend is to focus on the institutions that hire and promote undercredentialed political ideologues like him. By focusing on Churchill, you make it easier for those institutions to avoid responsibility for what is a much broader problem. You make it all too easy for these institutions to retaliate against the one individual that critics have locked onto. You help them make it seem as though they've done enough. That the retaliation also offends free speech values further demonstrates how dysfunctional the focus on the individual speaker is.
Ann is looking at the more systemic problem. Churchill is just a symptom. Focusing on him misses the greater fault. Attacking tenure and possibly freedom of speech becomes collateral damage.
February 11, 2005
Churchill's Coming to Whitewater
UW-Whitewater chancellor Jack Miller is a strange man who's written a strange statement for why he's allowing anti-American Ward Churchill to speak on campus next month.
First, he says, "I find the decision to be repugnant because of the offensive nature of his [Churchill's] remarks." Yet he's still allowing Churchill to soil his campus.
Second, Miller mentions Churchill's problems with his academic and ethnic crediblity as having "his scholarship is being questioned and is now under review by his employer," yet "that does not negate his status as a frequent speaker on Native American issues." So, I guess questions of academic fraud dealing with the subject he is suppose to speak doesn't disqualify him. Theoretically does that mean I could make up a bunch of stuff about economics, claim I was an economist, use other's work as my own, and still speak at UW-Whitewater as an "economics expert?" In one of Miller's stipulations he acknowledges that the University of Colorado's investigation of Churchill could change his mind.
Third, Miller admits the university is "under no obligation to extend him an invitation" yet he sides with "First Amendment principles." I'm confused. If Churchill doesn't have a First Amendment right to speak at the campus then what principle is Miller siding with?
What's most odd about Miller's decision is he will personally make a contribution to fund a speaker he finds repugnant and offensive.
Miller wrote a letter to Churchill asking him to clarify his "little Eichmans" remark and "provide a more direct and personal response to those who were deeply hurt by your remarks."
Churchill's undignified response was full of bravado and spite. The arrogant professor encloses a response essay and declares it to be his "final clarification." In the letter there's no hint of sympathy toward the victims of Sep. 11, and no acknowledgement that he hurt many people with his words. Churchill the snidely writes,
While you do, one assumes, hold the prerogative to cancel the event on bona fide security grounds, your right to do so because of disagreements 'your own or others’ -- with certain political conclusions I’ve drawn is dubious at best.
This disgusting, egotistical man wants his money and his moment of fame. He intends to come to Whitewater, whether the speech is cancelled or not, and grab as much attention as he can.
"Churchill Gets OK to Speak at UW-Whitewater"
UPDATE: Seamus Heffernan looks at Ward Churchill's attack on capitalism and living a comfortable life:
The truly insufferable aspect of Churchill's piece is his callous dismissal of the people in those building, who, while talking on their phones and planning lunch, were doing what most of us have to do every day: work.
February 10, 2005
Checking the Logbooks
Milwaukee elections chief Lisa Artison and Mayor Tom Barrett's office have to stop blaming Milwaukee's voting problems on clerical errors. An analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel--Greg Borowski strikes again--went through polling place logbooks. The logbooks are suppose to have the number of the last ballot cast in that ward. That number should match the number of ballots cast. Here's what the newspaper found:
But the newspaper's review found 24 cases where there is a discrepancy of at least 5%, with more ballots than voters listed in a ward. Logbooks for another 20 wards showed no entry for the last voter counted.
In some cases looking at the logbooks eliminated the discrepancies found last week by the Journal Sentinel.
Logbooks with numbers that don't match the number of ballots counted could mean lousy poll workers, could mean some poll workers looked the other way when fraud occured, or could mean nefarious people took advantage of those poll workers.
What we need to know now is the number of votes and voters based on the logbooks. We can then know how what discrepancies are due to post-election work done by Artison's office and how many questionable votes remain.
To broaden the scope beyond Milwaukee I received a spreadsheet with voter totals and registration numbers. From a brief look at the numbers I noticed Milwaukee's same-day registration were out of whack from the rest of the state. In Milwaukee 30% of voters registered on Election Day. The state average was 14.78%. To compare other cities, Waukesha's same-day registration was 24.5%. Brookfield's was 7.66%. West Bend's was 17.48% Germantown's was 13.52% Appleton had 20.29%. Racine has 25.66% of its voters register on Election Day. Kenosha had 26.03%. Green Bay had 17.03%. Madison had 22.58% of voters register the same day.
Here's the spreadsheet so you too can number crunch.
I'd love to see what other webloggers and readers and divine from this.
"Voter Logbooks out of Whack"
February 09, 2005
Who is Marquis Murff?
The newspaper is seeing double. Marquis F. Murff is one of many names found by the Journal Sentinel as voting twice on Election Day. Murff is listed as voting at a non-existent address and a place that doesn't allow men to live. No, I don't think this has anything to do with Bosom Buddies.
Here are some other interesting finds by Greg Borowski et al:
Unlike the editorial board who sees no reason for a photo ID requirement for voters, the JS reporters see otherwise:
The newspaper has identified many recordkeeping and computer flaws in the data. Those problems complicate any review of the election, since they translate into hundreds - even thousands - of incomplete or duplicate records. If those records are not corrected, they leave the door open for future fraud.
I vote they should replace Ricardo Pimentel with Greg Borowski.
"Double Trouble in Voter Inquiry"
February 08, 2005
Doyle's Budget Address
Here's some initial reaction to Gov. Doyle's budget address:
To do that, my budget cuts state operations spending by more than $270 million - holding the growth in spending to less than four percent each year.It's odd politician doublespeak--no matter the party--that makes people more cynical about government. Spending can't be cut if it grows. Up is not down. Left isn't right.
How we get our kids prepared for life will have a more profound effect on the long-term strength of Wisconsin than anything else we do. So, if we want good jobs - it's education. If we want a growing economy - it's education. If we want to reduce the number of inmates - it's education. If we want to find cures to disease - it's education.To an extent better education does mean a better economy and improved social conditions. But Doyle neglects economic freedom. Wisconsin could be producing Ph.D.'s as well as it does milk, but if high income and property taxes send those highly-educated people out of state to start businesses it's all for naught.
Then Doyle makes a very interesting statement about education:
And the people of Wisconsin should hold accountable anyone who plays politics with this core building block for our future.
What is he doing by not expanding school choice in Milwaukee? He's playing politics to keep his teachers union friends happy. Doyle's right. Wisconsinites should hold him accountable for playing politics with childrens' education. They can do that by voting for his opponent in next year's governors race.
Gov. Doyle goes on:
Third, to help schools reduce the cost of health care ... and to
In other words, taxpayers, I'm care more about giving my teachers union friends big pay raises than lowering property taxes.
The juicy part of the speech deals with Doyle's version of a tax freeze.
With my budget, we will freeze property taxes.
Doyle does this by raiding the transportation fund, filled with gax and car taxes.
To "maintain nursing home services" Doyle proposes to borrow up to $130 million. In other words, he wants to increase taxes in the future.
Doyle is preparing for next year's election by offering a tax freeze that isn't. Property taxes may stay unchanged but taxpayers will still be paying via increased state spending on education and accounting gimmicks. In this political climate Doyle needed a freeze of his own. It's up to conservatives to point out he wants to put taxpayers on thin ice.
For more reaction read these [and here] Boots & Sabers pieces. There's also Lakeshore Laments, and Charlie Sykes called the speech "this was Mardis Gras for the special interests.... Fat Tuesday for WEAC!!!"
McAdams in the Blogosphere
Prof. John McAdams, advisor to the Marquette College Republicans, decided to restart his weblog that lay dormant since last fall. On Sunday, he took apart the sniper motto MU officials were so uncomfortable with.
Of course, problems with the motto were only the public reason MU gave for squ